Brazil ex-president faces corruption charges linked to Petrobras News
Brazil ex-president faces corruption charges linked to Petrobras

[JURIST] Brazil’s attorney general on Thursday charged two top political figures with corruption. Eduardo Cunha, current speaker of the lower house of congress, is charged with accepting five million dollars in bribes, corruption and money laundering. The charges brought against Senator Fernando Collor de Mello [Britannica profile], who served as president of Brazil from 1990-92, have not been released to the public. The case centers on the men’s involvement in the 10-year, billion dollar scheme with the state-run oil company Petrobras [official website]. Both men denied wrongdoing [Guardian report], and Cunha posted [Facebook page] on social media that he had no intention of resigning from office and denounced the charges as being politically motivated. The case will proceed before the Federal Supreme Court [official website], of Brazil and it may be years before a decision is reached. The announcement may lead to a weakened political position for Cunha who is currently the main political opponent to current president Dilma Rousseff [BBC profile].

Brazil continues to struggle with allegations of corruption, in spite of its attempts to combat risks against corruption in politics and business, including the enactment of a new anti-corruption law [Association of Corporate Counsel report] in August of 2013. The law [text, in Portuguese] took effect on January 28, 2014. The Petrobras scheme led to numerous corruption charges, including a suit filed [JURIST report] in December by the City of Providence. Charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering continue to be investigated in relation to a number of Petrobras senior executives and some of Brazil’s most powerful politicians.