Wednesday, June 29, 2005
São Paulo, Brazil — Several witnesses are denouncing the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the ruling Workers’ Party (PT). Below are some of the main denunciations and witnesses.
In May, the Brazilian deputy Roberto Jefferson was involved in an alleged corruption scheme that involved the Brazilian Postal Service. Jefferson said that he was unfairly being abandoned and sacrificed. In addition he said that he would not take the fall alone.
On June 6, Roberto Jefferson told the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo that the rulingWorkers’ Party (PT) has been paying Brazilian deputies 30 thousand Brazilian Reais (USD 12 thousand) each, every month, in return for support. Jefferson later confirmed to a Congressional special commission what he had previously stated to the newspaper. Also he added that he had informed the Minister José Dirceu about the payments and that no action was taken. Dirceu denied Jefferson’s allegations.
According to Jefferson the payments only stopped after he informed the President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He also said that the Minister José Dirceu should leave the government, otherwise President Lula would get involved. Two days later, the Minister José Dirceu announced his resignation from his post.
Jefferson denied involvement in the Brazilian Postal Service scandal. Jefferson told the commission that the Brazilian Agency of Intelligence (Abin) was controlled by the former Brazilian Minister of Civil Affairs José Dirceu and it recorded the tape which shows the former Brazilian Postal Service Chief Maurício Marinho during a supposed bribery negotiation with a businessman.
However Jefferson admitted that he received R$ 4 million from the Workers’ Party (PT). According to Jefferson, during a meeting with him and the PTB treasurer Émerson Palmieri, the Workers’ Party treasurer Delúbio Soares and the Workers’ Party President José Genoíno, they decided that PTB should received R$ 20 million. Jefferson said he received only R$ 4 million and the money was delivered by the businessman Marcos Valério Fernandes de Souza, owner of publicity enterprises.
On June 14, Fernanda Karina Ramos Somaggio denounced his former boss Marcos Valério and told the Brazilian magazine “IstoÉ – Dinheiro” that she saw suitcases full of money leaving the enterprise during the time she worked for him as secretary (IstoÉ article). Also she said that Marcos Valério encountered Workers’ Party members several times, including Delúbio Soares. On June 15, the secretary denied everything what she said to “IstoÉ – Dinheiro” to police. However, on June 20, Karina Somaggio said that she lied to the police because she and her family were threatened. In a new testimony to the Brazilian police, Karina Somaggio confirmed the interview to the magazine and the accusations against her former boss, Marcos Valério. Karina Somaggio is now under police protection.
Marcos Valério denied the allegations of Karina Somaggio. He has initiated court proceedings against his former secretary.
Some days later the magazine “IstoÉ” revealed documents from the Council for Control of Financial Activities (Coaf). According to the documents around R$ 20.9 millions left SMP&B and DNA enterprises, which belong to Marcos Valério (IstoÉ article). The Coaf is a Brazilian public agency which monitors irregular financial activities. The enterprises of Marcos Valério have millionaire contracts with the Brazilian government.
On June 21 and 22, parliamentarians listened to the former Brazilian Postal Service Chief Maurício Marinho, accused of involvement in the Brazilian Postal Service scandal. At first Marinho refused talking about any illegality in the Brazilian Postal Service. However, on June 22, after his lawyers admitted that he was not telling the whole truth and that they would leave him, Marinho demanded protection for himself and his family, then started to talk. He said the Workers’ Party general-secretary Sílvio Pereira and the Minister Luiz Gushiken had some influence in the Brazilian Postal Service. He said that the biggest Brazilian Postal Service contracts should be investigated and he mentioned big contracts to the Brazilian bank Bradesco.