The former international chief of Brazil's oil giant Petrobras, Nestor Cervero, was sentenced Monday to over 12 years in prison for corruption and money laundering charges, related to bribes allegedly paid to the speaker of the country's lower house.
Cervero and two other defendants are accused of organizing bribes from Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries in exchange for two drill-ship contracts. In the same case, lobbyist Fernando Soares, known as Fernando Baiano, was sentenced to 16 years for corruption and laundering.
Baiano is linked with the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, known as the PMDB, which broke their alliance with President Dilma Rousseff’s Worker’s Party government. The PMDB and its leader, Eduardo Cunha, have been actively pushing for Rousseff’s impeachment over the Petrobras scandal, despite the party’s own connection to the case.
Both Cervero and Baiano can appeal the sentence, but remain in jail in Parana state capital Curitiva.
According to the accusation, Cervero received US$15 million dollars in “dirty money” through Baiano. The former Petrobras chief then recommended the South Korean company be awarded the US$586 million contract.
In the transaction for the purchase of the second drillship, Cervero received an additional US$25 million dollars for the US$616 million contract.
Following the scathing revelations last year, Rousseff has been pushing for a cleaning up corruption within the company. The scandal has most recently led to issuance of arrest warrants against numerous individuals, including top officials.