Lula is subject of corruption probe: Brazilian police

Brasilia, April 13 (IANS/EFE) The Brazilian Federal Police confirmed Friday that it has opened a new investigation of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s possible involvement in corruption.

The probe began with a plea made 10 days ago by prosecutors and specifically refers to Lula’s alleged efforts to secure campaign contributions from Portugal Telecom.

Police will attempt to determine the truth of complaints filed by publicist Marcos Valerio Fernandes, sentenced to 40 years in jail for his part in a congressional vote-buying scheme that was in operation between 2002 and 2005.

Fernandes said after being convicted that Lula negotiated personally with then-CEO of Portugal Telecom, Miguel Horta, who had donated 7 million reais ($3.5 million) to the governing Workers Party.

The matter was investigated in the so-called “trial of the century”, which resulted in prison sentences for Fernandes, members of Lula’s Cabinet, Workers Party officials and businessmen associated with the party, but even though the court case lasted nearly seven years, Portugal Telecom was never proved to be involved in the scandals.

A spokesperson for Lula said the former president has not commented on the new investigation.

Lula governed Brazil from 2003-11 and was succeeded by protege Dilma Rousseff.

–IANS/EFE

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