Brazil’s former nuclear head jailed for corruption

Brazil’s former nuclear head jailed for corruption

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 5 (IANS) A Brazilian court has sentenced a former head of the state nuclear company Eletronuclear to 43 years in prison for corruption.

The sentence imposed on Thursday on Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva was one of the toughest handed down as part of the investigation into the Petrobras corruption ring, Xinhua news agency reported.

Pinheiro da Silva was found guilty of corruption and money laundering within the Petrobras corruption ring, along with 12 other people, including his daughter Ana Cristina da Silva Toniolo, who was sentenced to 14 years and 10 months in prison.

Pinheiro da Silva was found to have organised bribes for the contracts signed between Eletronuclear and construction companies Andrade Gutierrez and Engeviz for the construction of the Angra 3 nuclear power plant in Rio de Janeiro.

Investigations found various irregularities in the contracts for building Angra 3, including fraud in the tendering process, bribes to public officials and favouritism in the assignment of contracts.

The contracting process was overseen by Eletronuclear, a subsidiary of the state electric company Eletrobras, and was orchestrated to be in favour of several private companies involved in the corruption ring.

The Petrobras corruption ring is estimated to have embezzled at least $2 billion between 2004 and 2014, leading to the arrests of dozens of government officials, Petrobras staff and executives of private companies.

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