UPDATE 1-Lula charged over Odebrecht Angola work in Brazil graft probe

lunes 10 de octubre de 2016 15:59 GYT

(Updates with details of allegations, prior charges, context)

By Brad Brooks

SAO PAULO Oct 10 (Reuters) - Corruption charges against former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva piled up on Monday as prosecutors accused him and Marcelo Odebrecht, ex-CEO of engineering group Odebrecht SA, in an alleged bribery scheme related to contracts in Angola.

Lula already faced several other charges related to a sweeping kickback probe at state-run oil company Petrobras , and Odebrecht is serving a 19-year sentence after his conviction on other corruption allegations in the investigation.

The new charges come amid expectations that Odebrecht - Latin America's largest construction conglomerate - is on the cusp of signing a leniency deal with prosecutors that would see its former CEO and dozens of other executives turn state's witness.

Prosecutors have said the Odebrecht group, with its global reach and powerful connections inside Brazil, was at the heart of the long-running corruption scheme. Testimony from its executives could significantly expand the Petrobras probe, lead to new investigations and implicate more politicians.

Brazil's top prosecutor Rodrigo Janot is investigating 66 politicians - many sitting lawmakers - for alleged participation in the Petrobras scheme, a number that could grow significantly with possible testimony from Odebrecht executives.

To date, nearly 200 executives and former politicians have been charged in the Petrobras probe and 83 have already been found guilty. Prosecutors are seeking 38 billion reais ($12 billion) in damages from companies and individuals involved.

Federal prosecutors in Brasilia said the latest charges are related to alleged crimes carried out from "at least" 2008 - when Lula was still president - until 2015.   Continuación...