Appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro to command the Civil House, the senator Ciro Walnut (PP-PI) responds to five investigations derived from the Lava Jato. Two of them are secret and had not yet come to light, as revealed this Sunday (25th) by the newspaper Or Balloon.
In one of the hitherto unknown cases, the senator is investigated on suspicion of having received payments from the OAS in exchange for supporting a provisional measure in the Senate. In the other, the investigators find out whether Ciro exerted influence in releasing a loan for Engevix at Caixa Econômica Federal.
According to the report by Aguirre Talento and Mariana Muniz, Ciro Nogueira has already been denounced by the Attorney General’s Office twice: in one case, he is accused of receiving a bribe of R$7.3 million from Odebrecht in exchange for support in Congress; in another, he is suspected of obstructing investigations by acting to change the testimony of a former PP advisor who collaborated with the Court.
The two complaints have not yet been analyzed by the ministers of the Supreme Court. There is still a fifth inquiry against the senator from Piauí, in which he is investigated for receiving bribes from the J&F group to buy PP support for the reelection of former president Dilma Rousseff.
President of the PP and one of the main leaders of the Centrão, Ciro will assume the Civil House with the responsibility of maintaining the support of the governing base in Congress, formed by right-wing and center-right parties.
The lawyer Antonio Carlos de Castro, known as Kakay, who defends Ciro, claims that the investigations are the result of a process of “political criminalization” sponsored by Car Wash Operation. “This operation was notable for the criminalization of politics, in an attempt – fortunately today unmasked – by the Public Ministry to capture the Legislative agenda. Today, it is evident that the judge/politician of Lava Jato and his commanders of the Public Ministry corrupted the justice system in favor of a political project”, said the lawyer in a press release.
The newspaper Or Balloon had access to details of the two investigations so far unpublished, which are under the confidentiality of the Federal Police. One of them, opened in October and reported by Minister Edson Fachin, investigates whether the then president of OAS Léo Pinheiro agreed with Ciro Nogueira the payment of R$ 1 million in 2014 through official donations in exchange for the support given by the congressman in a measure 2013 provisional that amended the tax legislation in relation to charges on companies.
In an award-winning statement ratified by the Federal Supreme Court, Léo Pinheiro confirmed that the top of the OAS maintained a close relationship with Ciro Nogueira. The PF took a new testimony from the collaborator in April to find out more details of the case. According to the contractor, who intermediated the negotiations was Eduardo Cunha, who was in charge of negotiating the provisional measure in Congress.
“There was breakfast at Ciro Nogueira’s house, at which the payment of R$ 1,000,000.00 was agreed, in two installments of R$ 500,000.00 to the party,” said Pinheiro, in his testimony, to then complete. “The deponent clarifies that the order was to donate to the party, because he had prohibited the cash flow at the company, as the Lava Jato was already in progress,” he added.
The other confidential inquiry involving Ciro Nogueira was opened in April 2019 based on the award agreement of the owner of Engevix, José Antunes Sobrinho. According to the report by José Antunes, Engevix had a loan of R$ 270 million to receive from Caixa, referring to works at the Brasília airport. But, even after the inauguration of the project, the company still had not been able to receive the amounts from the state bank.
The article highlights that, at that time, Caixa was run by Gilberto Occhi, an ally of Ciro Nogueira. In his account, José Antunes says that he was approached by two lobbyists who offered to help with the release of funds in exchange for the payment of bribes. To unlock the operation, the company paid R$ 500 thousand for an office.
The businessman claims that the lobbyists “let it be understood that this charge was known to Senator Ciro Nogueira and that he would have a political influence on Gilberto Occhi”. “The elements collected reveal a possible crime by senator Ciro Nogueira, who would have acted through known operators to receive undue advantage in exchange for releasing a loan from Caixa Econômica Federal”, says the Federal Police when requesting the extension of the investigations .
In a statement given to the Federal Police, Occhi stated that he had only “institutional” contact with Ciro Nogueira and said he did not remember his role in financing the work at the airport in Brasília.
See the full defense note by Ciro Nogueira:
“The defense of Senator Ciro Nogueira clarifies that, in relation to the investigation of the alleged payment of R$ 1 million by OAS, according to a report by collaborator Leo Pinheiro, the defense – as incredible as it may seem – never had access to the inquiry. A declaration ratified in 2019 and so far the Senator has not even been called to provide clarifications. It is clear that the investigation, at any given time, may even proceed in secrecy. But after such a long time, the investigated has the right to be aware of the investigation. This only highlights the abuse of the investigative power of the MP in conducting the Lava Jato Operation and all the excesses that were practiced, which is why the operation is so demoralized. This operation was notable for the criminalization of politics, in an attempt – fortunately today unmasked – by the Public Ministry to capture the Legislative agenda. Today, it is evident that Lavajato’s judge/politician and his prosecutors have corrupted the justice system in favor of a political project.
As for INQ 4784, it is an old investigation. The facts were already public knowledge, reported in press vehicles since 2016, despite the fact that the investigation was only formally initiated by the Supreme Court in April 2019. Since then, the investigation has not made any progress at all, as the reports of the collaborator José Antunes they are untrue. So much so, that such accusation was denied by another collaborator heard in the records of that same inquiry, Victor Sérgio Colavit.
The two investigations have something in common, they demonstrate the bankruptcy of a criminal and opportunistic operation, fueled by countless untrue allegations, the Lava Jato operation. These inquiries have been going on for years, without the Senator ever having been called to testify and without any progress, as the facts are not true and have no relationship with Senator Ciro Nogueira.
Antônio Carlos de Almeida Castro, Kakay
Almeida Castro, Castro and Turbay Advs”
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