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UPDATE 1-Brazil, OAS in talks to revive plea deal, source says
December 13, 2016 / 12:57 PM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil, OAS in talks to revive plea deal, source says

(Recasts to add comments from source, background throughout)

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal

SAO PAULO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors and legal advisers of OAS SA are resuming talks for a plea bargain deal linked to the engineering group's participation in a massive corruption scandal, a person briefed on the matter said Tuesday.

The talks that could lead to formal negotiations for a plea deal for OAS and several company executives may take a few more weeks, said the person, who asked for anonymity because the matter is confidential. Newspaper Valor Econômico first reported the news earlier in the day.

The Prosecutor-General's Office halted a first round of talks in August after parts of former Chief Executive Officer Léo Pinheiro's testimony were leaked in the local press.

Pinheiro, who was sentenced to over 16 years in prison for his role in the "Operation Car Wash" scandal, is among OAS executives seeking a plea deal, the person said.

A public relations official for Sao Paulo-based OAS did not have immediate comment. The media office of the Brasilia-based Prosecutor-General's Office did not comment.

According to Valor, prosecutors and OAS lawyers have been negotiating the resumption of talks for more than a month. Eventual testimonies may involve accusations against lawmakers and other politicians, Valor said, without identifying those politicians.

OAS is among the 31 Brazilian engineering and construction groups accused of rigging state contracts in the "Car Wash" case, Brazil's biggest corruption scandal yet known.

The scandal accelerated the downfall of President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached on Aug. 31 for doctoring budget accounts.

Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by David Goodman and Chizu Nomiyama

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