UPDATE 3-Brazil police seek graft charges against ex-president Lula

viernes 26 de agosto de 2016 18:01 GYT

(Adds statement by Lula's lawyers)

By Eduardo Simões and Daniel Flynn

SAO PAULO Aug 26 (Reuters) - Federal police in Brazil urged prosecutors on Friday to bring corruption charges against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife, Marisa, according to police documents seen by Reuters.

The investigation into the popular predecessor and mentor of suspended President Dilma Rousseff forms part of a sweeping anti-corruption probe into political kickbacks from contracts at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

The allegations against Lula and his wife relate to the acquisition and renovation of an apartment in the beach resort of Guaruja, about 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Sao Paulo.

Federal police in the southern city of Curitiba have accused Lula and his wife of receiving some 2.4 million reais ($747,896) in benefits from construction company OAS in relation to the apartment.

Police have alleged that the apartment in Guaruja, which was bought and refurbished by OAS, was for all intents and purposes a gift to Lula and his family.

Attorneys Cristiano Zanin Martins and Roberto Teixeira, representing Lula and his wife, said allegations by police were without basis and politically motivated. They said the apartment in Guaruja was registered in the name of OAS and that Lula only visited it once, when he and his wife were thinking of buying it.

Under Brazilian law, police can only recommend that a suspect be charged, but it is up to prosecutors to actually lodge charges.   Continuación...