(Adds Odebrecht declined to comment)
BUENOS AIRES Feb 7 A federal judge in Argentina
will request information from Brazil and Switzerland to
determine if President Mauricio Macri's spy chief received bribe
money from a builder in 2013, state-run news agency Telam
reported on Tuesday.
Prosecutors publicly announced two weeks ago that they are
investigating whether National Intelligence Agency Director
Gustavo Arribas received a bribe from Brazil-based Odebrecht SA
in the form of a $600,000 bank transfer from a
Brazilian money changer.
Arribas denied taking bribes or having any link to Odebrecht
in a statement last month, when reports of an alleged bribe
first appeared in local media. He said he was living in Sao
Paulo in 2013 and had declared all of his bank accounts to
Argentine authorities. Arribas' lawyers could not be reached on
Odebrecht is at the center of a global graft scandal. As
part of a $3.5 billion settlement with Brazilian, U.S. and Swiss
authorities in December, the company admitted to paying bribes
in 12 mostly Latin American countries including $35 million in
Prosecutors in Argentina are also investigating four
projects involving Odebrecht, the largest construction firm in
Latin America, for corruption.
The formal requests for information will be sent after Feb.
21, Telam reported. The judge overseeing the case, Canicoba
Corral, was not immediately available for comment.
Argentina wants access to movements in Arribas's Credit
Suisse account from Switzerland and plea bargain testimony from
the money changer in Brazil, Telam reported.
The bank transfer being investigated took place well before
Macri was elected in November 2015.
Odebrecht declined to comment on active investigations. The
company said in a statement to Reuters that it was working to
adopt measures to improve its commitment to ethical business
practices and to promote transparency.
(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer and Maximiliano Rizzi; Editing
by Sandra Maler and Lisa Shumaker)