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Odebrecht denies paying Venezuela politician $100 million
September 7, 2017 / 3:17 PM / 18 days ago

Odebrecht denies paying Venezuela politician $100 million

FILE PHOTO: A sign of the Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht is seen at their headquarters in Lima, Peru, January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo/File Picture

CARACAS (Reuters) - Scandal-hit Brazilian construction company Odebrecht denied accusations it paid $100 million to Venezuelan Socialist Party Vice President Diosdado Cabello, as alleged by the country’s fugitive former chief prosecutor.

Luisa Ortega, who fled Venezuela last month after coming out against the government and losing her job, made the accusation in Brasilia two weeks ago, although she did not present evidence.

Odebrecht last year admitted, in a settlement with U.S. and Brazilian prosecutors, to paying bribes to officials across 12 countries in order to win contracts.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the company said: "After conducting a comprehensive search of its legacy systems and of the statements given by its former team members who collaborated in (investigations), Odebrecht denies the accusations that it made a $100 million payment to ... Cabello." (goo.gl/jtjyQn)

Ortega had said the payment was made through Spanish company TSE Arietis. Odebrecht denied payments to the company.

According to a U.S. court ruling, between 2001 and 2016, Odebrecht paid about $788 million in bribes in countries including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela.

Reporting by Corina Pons; Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Bill Trott

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