RIO DE JANEIRO May 2 Brazilian prosecutors on
Tuesday said they leveled new corruption charges against a
one-time chief of staff for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva, who is already serving long jail sentences on prior graft
Prosecutors accused Jose Dirceu of taking 2.4 million reais
($755,880) in bribes from two engineering firms - UTC Engenharia
SA and Engevix Engenharia SA.
The money was allegedly used for public relations efforts to
improve Dirceu's image before, during and after a 2012 trial, in
which he was convicted in a widespread scheme of making monthly
payments to congressmen to win support for legislation.
In addition, over the past year, courts have sentenced him
in two separate trials to a collective 32 years in jail on
corruption, money-laundering and conspiracy charges. They
stemmed from a wide-ranging probe of graft at state-owned oil
company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras.
Engevix did not respond to request for comment, and a lawyer
for Dirceu was not immediately available for reaction.
A UTC Engenharia spokesman said the company would have
nothing to say on the matter.
($1 = 3.1751 reais)
(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro and Brad Brooks
in Sao Paulo Editing by W Simon)