Brazil’s worst-ever corruption scandal just took another dark turn.
Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil has rejected accusations of her involvement in Petrobras’ corruption scandal.
News reports indicate that Rousseff will take legal action against Senator Delcidio do Amaral and is planning to “hold him responsible under the law for all his defamatory statements,” Rousseff’s office said.
In a recent Brazilian magazine interview, Amaral claimed that the President was aware of the misconduct at Petrobras and made every effort to “block investigations” the International Business Times reported. He added that Rousseff’s presidential campaigns in 2010 and 2014 were funded by money from the Petrobras corruption scheme.
Amaral was arrested last November for attempting to bribe a former executive of the state oil giant for his silence in the probe. In the interview, Amaral said that the former President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula) was responsible for the Petrobras bribery scandal.
Protesters took to the streets in Brazil last week in light of the release of taped phone conversations between Lula and Rousseff, which revealed that Lula was appointed to avoid prosecution. The former President was appointed Cabinet Chief—a move that would protect him from being slapped with money-laundering and bribery charges, according to a report in the Guardian.
Judge Sergio Moro, the lead prosecutor in the Petrobras case released almost 50 audio recordings to the media on Wednesday evening, which led to protests in Brazil calling for Rousseff’s resignation.
The Petrobras scandal has exposed the culture of corruption in Brazil and the need for tighter regulations and reform. Transparency International research pointed out that Brazil became one of the most corrupted countries in the Americas as a result of the Petrobras scandal. In recent years, however, the country made significant strides on the anticorruption front but the Petrobras bribery scheme shows that these laws only appear solid on paper.
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