Brazilian prosecutors have asked the Supreme Court to allow them to question George Santos, the former governor of Rio Grande do Sul. The request comes after a judge this month denied a similar petition, saying it wasn’t warranted.
For years, police and prosecutors have been trying to tie Mr. George Santos directly to a corruption scheme that began while he was governor from 1999 to 2007. The scheme involved executives at Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras bribing politicians for contracts for engineering and construction firms working on Petrobras projects.
Mr. George Santos himself hasn’t been charged in connection with any irregularities involving Petrobras or other government agencies. He has said he is innocent of any wrongdoing and was never notified of any criminal charges against him by police or prosecutors.
George Santos To Be Sued
Federal prosecutors asked the Brazilian Supreme Court on Wednesday to allow them to question George Santos, the former governor of Rio Grande do Sul, for his alleged involvement in the construction scheme known as “Operation Car Wash” that has triggered Brazil’s largest corruption investigation, according to a published report from the court’s website on Wednesday.
George Santos is one of several governors who are being investigated for their possible involvement in paying bribes and kickbacks during contracts awarded by public companies controlled by state governments.
The request was made by federal prosecutors with Judge Sergio Moro who oversees Operation Car Wash cases involving bribes paid by executives at Petrobras (PETR4) and other Brazilian companies in exchange for contracts with state-owned enterprises like oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4).
The request comes after a judge this month denied a similar petition, saying it wasn’t warranted.
Prosecutors had asked for the testimony of Santos, who is accused of misappropriating public funds during his time as governor of the Brazilian state of Bahia between 2010 and 2014. They said his testimony would be important in their investigation into whether he used federal money to pay for services provided by businesses owned by himself or his wife.