Brazilian police investigating former president Lula for corruption

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Brazilian federal agents are seeking to question former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, on suspicion that he may have benefited from corruption at the state-owned oil company, a magazine report said.

The weekly Epoca revealed that the Federal Police told the Supreme Court that its investigation into the Petrobras scandal has led to Lula, as head of state and the ruling Workers’ Party when many of the alleged bribes and misappropriations occurred.

“Regarding the political aspect of the case, the investigation cannot avoid looking into the possible involvement of then-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva,” chief investigator Joselio Souza wrote to the court.

Souza said Lula, who was president during 2003-2010, “could have benefited from the scam in Petrobras, receiving perks for himself, for his party or even for his government.”

The Supreme Court ruled in March that prosecutors could investigate about 50 businessmen, officials and politicians on suspicion of bribery that fed millions of dollars into private pockets and political campaigns.

The corruption investigation has found evidence of a “political power scheme fed by the voluminous resources of the largest company in Brazil,” Souza said, according to a copy of the document cited by the magazine.

“It is necessary to have the proper judicial warrants to compel the testimony of the former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Siva, to hear his version of the events under investigation, which point to the partisan political core of his government,” the police commissioner wrote.

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