Brazil court freezes ex-leader Rousseff’s assets over 2006 refinery deal

FAN Editor
Former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff attends the
Former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff attends the “Neoliberalism, inequality, democracy under attack” conference in Lisbon, Portugal March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

October 11, 2017

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s federal audit court on Wednesday ordered frozen the assets of former president Dilma Rousseff as well as those of José Sérgio Gabrielli, ex-head of state-run oil company Petrobras, over a $580 million loss in the 2006 purchase of a Texas refinery.

The order also covered former finance minister Antonio Palocci and three members of the board of directors of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the oil company is formally known, that approved the controversial purchase.

The court, known as the TCU, said it detected “irregularities” in the purchase of the refinery in Pasadena, Texas, an operation that it considered made no business sense.

Rousseff, who was impeached last year for breaking budget rules, was presidential chief of staff at the time of the refinery purchase and chaired the Petrobras board of directors.

In 2014, when the operation was being investigated for alleged graft, then-president Rousseff said she had been given incomplete information by directors responsible for the deal.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; writing by Anthony Boadle, editing by G Crosse)

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