Brazil’s Vote Buying Probe Hears Main Actors

    Brazil’s Parliamentary Investigative Commission (CPI), which is investigating a supposed payoff scheme in Congress, has scheduled testimony by deputy Roberto Jefferson from Rio de Janeiro’s PTB party for Wednesday.

    Jefferson is the author of the denouncement that a payoff scheme existed to give some members of Congress a monthly allowance (“mensalão”) so that they would vote with the government.


    This CPI was established on July 20. Its chairman, Amir Lando from Roraima’s PMDB, is to have a meeting with the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Nelson Jobim, to discuss the limits of the CPI’s investigation. Meanwhile the members of the commission are drawing up plans for their work.


    Financial Director Grilled


    Simone Vasconcelos, an employee of the ad agency, SMP&B, is scheduled to be interrogated by the Federal Police today. Vasconcelos was a financial director of SMP&B, which is partly owned by Marcos Valério.


    Valério has been denounced as the moneyman in a supposed congressional payoff scheme where some members of Congress were paid to vote with the government.


    Vasconcelos is accused of actually making the payments (which are known as a monthly allowance – “mensalão”) after she made large withdrawals from SMP&B accounts.


    Meanwhile, the Post Office CPI has scheduled testimony by Vasconcelos for this Wednesday. In prior testimony to the Federal Police, Vasconcelos declared that she did not know the people she gave the money to.


    She said Marcos Valério had her wear a certain blouse and that the people who got the money knew who she was by the blouse.


    According to deputy Gustavo Fruet (PSDB-PR), “If she is going to stick to this blouse story, it is hard to see how we are going to make any progress on this.”


    Agência Brasil

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