Mon. Apr 22nd, 2019

Embargo goods to a former presidential candidate in Brazil for the Odebrecht case

Embargo goods to a former presidential candidate in Brazil for the Odebrecht case



A judge ordered on Monday the seizure of part of the assets of the former presidential candidate and former governor of Sao Paulo Geraldo Alckmin, president of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), in the context of a case in which he is accused of receiving bribes of the Odebrecht group.

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Alckmin, one of the candidates defeated by ultra-rightist Jair Bolsonaro in last October's presidential election, is accused of having received donations from the construction company Odebrecht not accounted for in the campaign in which he was re-elected as governor of Sao Paulo in 2014.

Judge Alberto Alonso Muñoz, head of the thirteenth Public Finance Court of the state of Sao Paulo, in response to a request from the Prosecutor's Office, ordered Monday the embargo of 39.7 million reais (about 10.3 million dollars) in goods of the seven accused in the process, informed judicial sources.

The decision affects Alckmin's assets for 9.9 million reais (about 2.57 million dollars).

The decision also seized assets of five former Odebrecht executives and Alckmin's campaign treasurer, Marcos Monteiro, including vehicles and assets in bank accounts.

According to the indictment filed by the prosecution, Odebrecht, a construction giant in Brazil and protagonist in recent years of numerous corruption scandals in several countries, illegally financed the campaigns in 2014 of different candidates willing to benefit it in tenders and contracts for works public, among which Alckmin.

The campaign of the ex-governor of Sao Paulo received 10 million reais (about 2.6 million dollars) in undeclared donations, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

The resources donated for such campaigns were not registered before the electoral authorities or before the Treasury, so they entered directly into the parallel boxes of the beneficiary candidates.

The payment of the illegal donations was revealed by Odebrecht executives in the agreements they signed with the Prosecutor's Office to confess their crimes and point out their accomplices in exchange for reductions of their sentences.

The process was paralyzed in the Superior Court of Justice since 2017 but, as Alckmin lost his privileged jurisdiction with the end of his term as governor of Sao Paulo last year, he was sent at first instance.

Alckmin's defense initially claimed that, with the exception of the "winning condemnation" of Odebrecht executives, there is no evidence that the candidate's campaign received the illegal resources.

Muñoz, however, alleged that the Prosecutor's Office presented other evidence of the crime and decided to open a trial for the crimes of embezzlement and corruption against the accused and order the blocking of their assets.

Alckmin, who has governed the country's richest and most populous state in two periods, first between 2001 and 2006 and then between 2011 and 2018, presides since 2017 the PSDB, one of the main national parties and which governed Brazil with Fernando Henrique Cardoso ( 1995-2002).

The ex-deputy and former governor was the candidate of the PSDB to the Presidency both in the 2006 elections, in which he was defeated in the second round by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and in the 2018 elections, in which he was the fourth most voted.

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