Brazil's Rousseff knew about bribery scheme, senator says - magazine

sábado 19 de marzo de 2016 11:53 GYT

By Tatiana Bautzer

SAO PAULO, March 19 (Reuters) - A senator accused of involvement in Brazil's biggest corruption scandal said President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Lula were both aware of it and tried to block prosecutors from investigating, Veja magazine said on Saturday.

In an interview with Brazil's best-selling weekly news magazine, Senator Delcidio do Amaral said Rousseff's successful presidential campaigns in 2010 and 2014 were financed with money from the graft scheme.

Amaral was the leader of the ruling Workers' Party (PT) in the Senate and a close Rousseff ally until he was arrested in November on charges of attempting to bribe a former executive of state-run oil company Petrobras in exchange for his silence in the investigation..

He left the party this week after agreeing a plea bargain, one of several such deals that prosecutors have used to advance their probe.

Amaral's comments may increase the pressure on Rousseff, whose approval ratings have been hard hit by the worst recession in decades and who faces impeachment proceedings in Congress over separate allegations of manipulating budget accounts.

Calls to request comment from the presidency were not immediately answered. A spokesman for former president Lula said Amaral was a defendant trying to get legal benefits, and that he did not have evidence of what he told the magazine. Both Rousseff and Lula have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

PETROBRAS SCANDAL   Continuación...