Esteves lawyer files request before Brazil court for his release

domingo 29 de noviembre de 2015 14:47 GYT

SAO PAULO Nov 29 (Reuters) - The lawyer representing André Esteves, the arrested chairman of Grupo BTG Pactual SA , on Sunday filed a request with Brazil's Federal Supreme Court to free the banker after a five-day detention.

The request was filed before Teori Zawaski, the Supreme Court justice in charge of the investigation, criminal lawyer Antonio Carlos de Almeida Castro said in a phone interview from Brasilia. The arrest order for Esteves, which was issued on Nov. 25, lasts for five days and could be extended for another five.

Esteves "has already testified and, so far, there is nothing out there indicating that he should stay in prison," Almeida de Castro said.

Brazil's prosecutor-general office did not comment. Media officials at the Supreme Court, known as STF, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Esteves was detained on Wednesday on allegations that he acted to obstruct an investigation over potential bribes in Brazil's biggest corruption scandal ever. Almeida de Castro denied the accusations, which include Esteves colluding with a ruling coalition senator to prevent a potential witness from involving the banker in the scandal known in Brazil as "Operation Car Wash."

Operation Car Wash is a probe into links between ruling coalition politicians and company executives who traded contracts at state firms for bribes and campaign donations. Shares and bonds in Grupo BTG Pactual, Latin America's largest independent investment bank, have slumped, and some clients have pulled money from the bank's asset management unit since Esteves' detention. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)