Saturday, January 23, 2021

Former São Paulo Governor Alckmin indicted for money laundering, corruption

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Former São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) was indicted by the Federal Police’s Lava Jato operation on Thursday (16) for the suspicion of three crimes: money laundering, electoral box two and passive corruption.

The indictment took place in the Lava Jato investigation that investigated, in the electoral sphere, donations from the contractor Odebrecht. Company directors said they had transferred more than R $ 10 million, via box 2, to Alckmin’s campaigns in 2010 and 2014.

Former PSDB treasurer Marcos Monteiro and lawyer Sebastião Eduardo Alves de Castro were also indicted. Alckmin was governor of the state of São Paulo between 2001 and 2006 and from 2011 to 2018.

The G1 sought contact with the defense of the three accused. In a statement, Alckmin’s defense said that the indictment of the former governor “was unjustified and hasty” and “hurt the right to ample defense”. Marcos Monteiro’s defense informed “that he has already made himself available to the authorities for clarification.” (Read more below)

The Inquiry is already in the Public Prosecutor’s Office of São Paulo, which has three options: decide to file; offer the complaint against the ex-governor and ex-treasurer to Justice; or ask for new steps to be taken by the police to deepen some point of the investigation.

Alckmin started being investigated in 2017 after the award-winning collaboration of Odebrecht executives. The contractor never appeared as a donor to Alckmin’s campaigns.

Earlier this month, Operation Lava Jato’s task force in São Paulo also denounced Senator and former São Paulo governor José Serra (PSDB) and his daughter, Verônica Allende Serra, for money laundering. In a press release, Serra criticized the operation saying that the search and seizure carried out at his residence were “invasive and aggressive measures”.

According to the Federal Public Ministry, Odebrecht paid Serra about R $ 4.5 million between 2006 and 2007, allegedly to use in its campaign to the government of the state of São Paulo; and about R $ 23 million, between 2009 and 2010, for the release of credits with Dersa, a São Paulo state company that was extinguished last year.

Statement by Odebrecht executives

Speaking to Lava Jato prosecutors at the time of the investigation, in 2017, Carlos Armando Paschoal, then director of the contractor in São Paulo, said that, during a meeting, he received a business card from Alckmin from his brother-in-law, Adhemar Ribeiro .

“When I came in I realized that they had already talked. Doctor Alckmin asked the secretary for a card that had a name, the contacts, he handed it to me there,” said Paschoal in a statement.

Paschoal said he transferred R $ 2 million, via box 2, to the Alckmin campaign to the government of São Paulo, in 2010. And that the person responsible for controlling payments was Alckmin’s brother-in-law.

Whistleblowers also said that there was a second payment, in 2014, in the amount of about R $ 8.3 million, in Alckmin’s campaign for re-election to the São Paulo government.

According to whistleblower Benedicto Júnior, another Odebrecht executive, payments on that occasion were intermediated by Marcos Monteiro, then treasurer of the PSDB.

In 2018, when he resigned from the government of São Paulo to run for president, Alckmin lost his privileged forum. The investigation, then, left the Superior Court of Justice, and went to the Electoral Justice of São Paulo.

With the crossing of information, the investigators say they have obtained evidence to confirm the version presented by the whistleblowers. TV Globo found that investigators found evidence that an electoral donation only occurred because Odebrecht received counterparts in projects with the state government.

The Federal Police did not indict Alckmin’s brother-in-law because he considered that the crimes committed in 2010 have already expired. Adhemar is over 70 years old and, therefore, the limitation period falls by half.

What the defenses say

The defense Geraldo Alckmin said the indictment of the former governor was “unjustifiable and precipitate” and “struck the right of legal defense.”

“The indictment of ex-governor Geraldo Alckmin, who, above all, hurt one of the basic principles of the democratic rule of law: the right of the adversary and the broad defense, was unjustified and hasty. He was denied previous knowledge of the facts investigation, in addition to the fundamental right to defend itself, guaranteed by the Constitution to every Brazilian citizen. The former governor was not even called on to provide clarifications that could have prevented his undue and undeserved indictment, “said lawyer Marcelo Martins de Oliveira.

The defense Marcos Monteiro lamented the “regrets the public disclosure report” and said he has provided the clarification to authorities.

“Despite not having access to the police conclusion and not having been heard, the defense of Marcos Monteiro regrets the public disclosure of the report, especially when there is no corroboration with the reality of the facts. He informs that he has already made himself available to the authorities for clarification. and that he is confident that the Judiciary Branch will correctly assess the facts investigated. Finally, he reiterates that Marcos Monteiro has always guided his public life with absolute smoothness and austerity “, lawyers Leandro Pachani and Guilherme Corona said in a note.

The PSDB ruled on the case through its national president, Bruno Araújo. “Governor four times of São Paulo, almost five decades of public life, doctor, Geraldo Alckmin has always led a modest life and dedication to public service. He is a reference of correctness and rectitude in public life. He has all the confidence of the PSDB”, said the party.

The PSDB state directory also sent a note on the case. “The PSDB-SP State Directorate has absolute confidence in the suitability of former Governor Geraldo Alckmin. The story of Governor Geraldo Alckmin leaves no doubt about his stance of rectitude, coherence and commitment to the rigor of the law”, says a document signed by Marco Vinholi, state president of PSDB-SP.

The governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB), said via Twitter that he is “convinced that the former governor of SP Geraldo Alckmin will be able to clarify all the points raised about electoral campaign donations. Alckmin’s trajectory is marked by commitment to ethical values ​​and dedication to the public cause. “

The Odebrecht also sent position on the indictment on Thursday. “Today’s news refers to the past. It is the judicial unfolding of facts pointed out or recognized a few years ago by Odebrecht itself. Since the agreements signed with Brazilian and foreign authorities in 2016, Odebrecht has undergone a profound transformation. It changed its way of acting and implemented stricter internal controls that reinforce the company’s commitment to ethics, integrity and transparency. ”

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