UPDATE 2-Brazil's Rousseff knew about bribery scheme, senator says -magazine

sábado 19 de marzo de 2016 19:12 GYT

(Adds comments from presidency, attorney general and poll)

By Tatiana Bautzer

SAO PAULO, March 19 (Reuters) - A senator accused of involvement in Brazil's biggest corruption scandal said on Saturday President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Lula were aware of it and tried to block investigations, as a poll showed support for her impeachment rising.

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 deals 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.

A survey published on Saturday by polling firm Datafolha showed support for Rousseff's impeachment rising to 68 percent, close to the record levels reached in August. Some 65 percent of those polled said the president should resign.

In an e-mailed statement, the presidency denied Amaral's allegations and said Rousseff would take legal action against him.   Continuación...