SAO PAULO Oct 8 The eldest member of Brazil's
Odebrecht family is personally spearheading negotiations between
executives of his namesake engineering conglomerate and federal
prosecutors for a potential plea deal in Brazil's biggest-ever
corruption probe, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said on
According to Estado, patriarch Emilio Odebrecht is leading a
team of executives and lawyers of Odebrecht SA that have set up
Brasília's Windsor Plaza hotel as their headquarters for the
negotiations. The talks seek to engage as many as 53 Odebrecht
executives in cooperation deals with authorities, Estado said.
The newspaper flashed the story on the top page with a wide
array of pictures in which Emilio appears with what presumably
are Odebrecht staff at a wing of the hotel where the
negotiations are taking place.
Representatives for Odebrecht were not immediately available
to comment on the news article. Efforts to obtain comment from
the Prosecutor-General's Office on the Estado article were
Odebrecht SA is the largest of Brazil's
engineering firms accused of colluding to overcharge
state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA
and other state firms for contracts, then using part of that to
channel donations and bribes into the former ruling Workers
Party and allies.
According to the report, federal prosecutors in charge of
the so-called "Operation Car Wash" want Odebrecht SA to pay
fines of at least 6 billion reais ($1.9 billion).
Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht, Emilio's son and the group's former
chief executive, has been in jail since June last year for his
involvement in the scandal. Bahia Odebrecht, who has been
already sentenced to more than 19 years in prison for
participating in the scheme, is willing to collaborate with the
probe, Estado said.
Patriarch Emilio and his lawyers are trying to convince
prosecutors to allow other group executives to serve shortened
sentences in exchange for cooperation, the paper said, adding
that negotiations could last at least another week.
Analysts said testimony by Odebrecht executives could
further broaden the Car Wash investigation and, in some cases,
help bring down top political figures. Among the executives
involved in negotiations is Alexandrino de Alencar, Odebrecht's
former head of institutional relations and often linked to
former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in
($1 = 3.2220 reais)
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Guillermo
Parra-Bernal and Andrea Ricci)