BRASïLIA (AFP) – An ex-director of Brazil’s state oil giant Petrobras at the centre of a scandal after accusing dozens of politicians of taking oil deal kickbacks, gave nothing away in a hearing Wednesday.
“I reserve the right to remain silent,” Paulo Roberto Costa, who headed Petrobras’ refining and supply unit between 2004 and 2012, told the public congressional hearing – though commission members insisted on questioning him anyway.
His allegations that more than 50 lawmakers – mainly from the ruling Workers Party (PT) – received billions in under-the-table deals have made waves as Brazil approaches an October 5 presidential election.
The purported links to the PT have left President Dilma Rousseff fighting to see off the challenge of environmentalist and former party ally Marina Silva, with the pair running neck-and-neck in latest polling.
Polls give Silva, a former environment minister, a narrow lead for an October 26 run-off vote.