Petrobras urges dismissal of U.S. lawsuit over corruption probe
By Joseph Ax
NEW YORK, June 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA, urged a U.S. judge on Thursday to throw out an investors' class action lawsuit over its multibillion-dollar bribery scandal.
Speaking at a hearing in federal court in New York, Petrobras lawyer Roger Cooper blamed the fraud on a handful of individuals and said the company could not be held liable for their actions.
The hearing came amid the largest corruption investigation in Brazilian history into what authorities say was a years-long scheme involving price-fixing, bribery and political kickbacks.
Prosecutors have charged dozens of senior executives at a number of Brazilian companies, sending shockwaves through the country's economy and eroding President Dilma Rousseff's popularity.
On Tuesday, a lead prosecutor in Brazil said the probe could extend to its largest electric utility Eletrobras, and more than a dozen foreign companies.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff did not rule on Petrobras' request but said he would do so within two weeks. (Editing by Christian Plumb)
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