Brazil president named in lawsuit in US

Sao Paulo, Dec 28 (IANS/EFE) Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and outgoing Finance Minister Guido Mantega were among the 14 names cited in a lawsuit in a US court against Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras.

The lawsuit was brought by the administration of Providence city in the state of Rhode Island.
Law firm Labaton Sucharow, which represents the city of Providence, included Rousseff, Mantega and another 12 businessmen and former ministers on a list of “persons of interest” in the suit being brought against Petrobras and two of the oil company’s subsidiaries.
However, the partner of Labaton Sucharow, Michael Stocker, told Brazilian media that there is no intention to make “persons of interest” in the suit, such as Rousseff and Mantega, into “defendants” in the case.
Rousseff herself has said she had no knowledge of the scheme in question, by which Petrobras allegedly inflated its value by making false statements to investors.
The city administration said that when the scandal broke in Brazil, the value of its investment in the oil company sank to unprecedented depths.
Stocker estimated the probable compensation for those harmed by the corruption scandal in the hundreds of millions of dollars if Petrobras is found guilty.
The state oil company is charged with diverting funds obtained through a scheme of inflating the bill for contracts with construction companies working on infrastructure projects, then funneling the money, according to the investigation, to political allies of the ruling Workers Party.