Former Brazil Worker’s Party treasurer sentenced for Petrobras corruption link
Former Brazil Worker’s Party treasurer sentenced for Petrobras corruption link

[JURIST] A Brazil court on Monday sentenced former treasurer of the country’s governing Worker’s Party [party website, in Portuguese] Joao Vaccari Neto to 15 years and four months in jail for charges stemming from his connection to the Petrobras [official website] corruption scandal. Vaccari was found guilty [BBC report] of corruption, money laundering and conspiracy, having accepted at least USD$1 million [NYT report] in bribes from the oil company, which is partially owned by the Brazilian state. Former Petrobras director of services Renato Duque was sentenced to 20 years and eight months after being convicted of making 24 payments totaling 4.2 million reals to the Worker’s Party from 2008-2010 at Vaccari’s request. Investigating federal judge Sergio Moro found that the money laundering had an impact on the democratic process. Both Vaccari and Duque have denied the charges.

Brazil continues to struggle with allegations of corruption despite its attempts to combat graft in politics and business, including the enactment of a new anti-corruption law [Association of Corporate Counsel report] in August 2013. The law [text, in Portuguese] took effect on January 28, 2014. The Petrobras scandal led to numerous corruption charges, including money laundering and racketeering, against a number of Petrobras senior executives and some of Brazil’s most powerful politicians. In August Brazil’s attorney general charged [JURIST report] the ex-president of Brazil and Eduardo Cunha, current speaker of the lower house of congress, with corruption linked to the Petrobras scandal. Last week the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil banned [JURIST report] corporate entities from providing funding to political candidates in the future in an attempt to prevent further corruption, calling the practice unconstitutional.