Brazilian police target ex-president in corruption probe

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian police on Friday searched the home and other buildings linked to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will be required to answer questions in the sprawling corruption case at the oil giant Petrobras.

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Silva's spokesman, Jose Crispiniano, confirmed that police were at addresses belonging to Silva, including his residence in Sao Bernardo do Campo in the greater Sao Paulo area and the Instituto Lula, his non-profit organization. Crispiniano said Silva was speaking to investigators at the federal police station at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport.

Brazil's O Globo news network ran images of police officials around a building they was the Sao Bernardo do Campo apartment, and the broadcaster said police were also at an address connected to one of his sons.

Crispiniano said police are acting on a warrant that requires Silva to answer questions as part of the continuing probe into corruption at Brazil's Petrobras oil giant.

In a statement on their website, the police said they are carrying out 44 judicial orders as part of the so-called Car Wash probe.

The statement did not provide the names of those targeted, but it did specify that some of the orders are taking place in the beachfront city of Guaruja, as well as the rural town of Atibaia.

Silva is suspected of having homes in both places, and investigators are probing reports they may have been remodeled by construction companies caught up in the Petrobras scandal, which has already ensnared top businessmen and heavyweight politicians from the governing Workers' Party as well as the opposition.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court allowed corruption charges in the case to be brought against Eduardo Cunha, a top opposition figure and head of the lower house.


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