|The corruption scandal involving José Sarney, the head of Brazil's senate, moved closer to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva after a former tax official said she was pressured to stop an audit of Mr. Sarney's family businesses.|
Mr. Sarney, also a former president of Brazil, has been an important da Silva ally, although a member of a different political party.
The tax official, Lina Maria Vieira, is a former head of Brazil's equivalent of the Internal Revenue Service. In statements to Brazilian newspapers published over the weekend, Ms. Vieira said that Dilma Rousseff, Mr. da Silva's chief of staff, contacted her late last year to request that she "facilitate" the audit of Mr. Sarney's family businesses.
Ms. Vieira says she interpreted Ms. Rousseff's words as a request to end the audit. Ms. Vieira, who has since left her post, says she denied the request. Further details about the audit aren't available because it is protected by confidentiality laws.
Ms. Rousseff has denied Ms. Vieira's allegations.
Mr. da Silva has sought to shield Ms. Rousseff, who is his hand-picked successor as president, from scandals that could hurt her prospects in an election that is likely to feature corruption allegations as a major theme. After two terms, Mr. da Silva isn't eligible for re-election.
Asked about Ms. Vieira's allegations while attending a conference in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday, Mr. da Silva called them a "fantasy."
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Corruption Scandal coming closer to Brazil's Lula ?
I love a good political scandal and interesting enough for Lula he has been able to escape previous scandals without much political damage.