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Brazil leader vows no interference in Petrobras probe

21 november 2014, 11:12

 Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday vowed not to interfere with investigators probing a scandal at the state-owned oil company Petrobras involving political payoffs and graft on a massive scale, AFP reports.

"I do not have, never have had and never will have any tolerance for corruptors or the corrupt," said Dilma, who once chaired the oil firm, in a speech at an education conference.

"We want the investigation to be total," said Rousseff, whose ruling Workers Party has been rocked by allegations that some prominent members received kickbacks from Petrobras.

Press leaks have painted a picture in which the country's major construction companies took turns receiving inflated Petrobras contracts, with an estimated four billion dollars in kickbacks going to middlemen, politicians and political parties over a 10-year period.

The allegations came as a former Petrobras director and a businessman suspected of arranging the payments are cooperating with investigators as part of plea agreements.

Without mentioning Petrobras by name, Rouseff said the federal police and attorney general's office were investigating "and there has been no pressure of any kind to inhibit the investigations."

"Brazil will emerge much stronger from this process, for having respected the rules of the state of law we live in," she said.

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