Saturday, May 15, 2021

Brazil ex-president Lula da Silva accused of money laundering for business in Equatorial Guinea

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Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva, arrested for corruption, has been accused of money laundering for brokering negotiations between the Government of Equatorial Guinea and the Brazilian ARG group, which will have paid one million of real (230 thousand euros).

According to the indictment, made by members of the Lava Jato operation working in the São Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office, the payment of this alleged bribe would have been concealed in ARG’s donations to the Lula Institute.

The prosecutors say that the largest shareholder of the ARG group, Rodolfo Giannetti Geo, would have asked Lula da Silva in 2011 to influence Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang to keep the country’s contracts with the company for road works.

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In return, the businessman would have offered “robust donations” to the Lula Institute.

The complaint presented ‘e-mails’ found on computers in the Lula Institute, seized in March 2016 in Operation Aletheia, 24th phase of Operation Lava Jato of Curitiba.

Among the evidence presented by the investigators to attest to the practice of gaining illicit advantage are receipts of payment of alleged donations and mentions to a letter from the President of Equatorial Guinea in which the African ruler would have requested the intervention of Lula da Silva next to then President Dilma Rousseff within the framework of her country’s entry into the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).

There is also the inclusion of a letter from the former Brazilian President to Teodoro Obiang in which Lula da Silva said he is optimistic that Equatorial Guinea will be included in the CPLP, in which he recommends ARG services, writing that the company “since 2007 became familiar with the Equatorial Guinea, standing out in the construction of roads “.

Lula da Silva’s lawyer, Cristiano Zanin Martins, said in a statement issued in November on this case that the accusation was “a further blow to the rule of law because it subverts the law and the facts to fabricate an accusation and give continuity to a political persecution [against Lula da Silva] unprecedented by the judicial process “.

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