Léo Pinheiro’s complaint was only accepted after citing Lula;

A timeline of the main facts involving former OAS executive Léo Pinheiro in the Lava Jato operation shows that prosecutors only accepted his complaint after it incriminated former president Lula (PT). The chain of facts points out that, from November 2014 to April 2017, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) made it difficult for the executive to reach an award-winning denunciation agreement. During the period, Pinheiro did not include any accusations against the PT.

After repeated convictions, nearly three years after negotiations for the agreement began, the executive included the former president in his testimony. The accusations were only denied this week, with the release of a letter in his own hand.

::: Léo Pinheiro’s ‘Conversion’ against Lula raises suspicions about winning denunciations :::

In the message, he confessed that he lied by accusing Lula of corruption and influence peddling with the Costa Rican government in the process that was filed by the courts this Monday (13). “The OAS company did not obtain any advantage, as it was not even benefited by loans from the BCIE – Central American Bank for Economic Integration. Not knowing whether the BCIE President’s request, Mr. Nick Rischbieth, with Mr. President Lula and other mentioned authorities was effective”, wrote Pinheiro, denying the accusation against the former president.

In the plea agreement awarded with Lava Jato, the former executive had been hired by OAS to give a lecture in Costa Rica in order to influence that country’s leaders to do business with the construction company.

::: MPF sues the Union for damages caused by Lava Jato and cites interference in the 2018 elections :::

Pinheiro also narrated an alleged meeting in the suite where Lula was staying, which was also attended by another OAS executive, director Augusto Uzeda, who denied that the meeting took place. In the letter, Pinheiro said that he never authorized or was aware of bribery payments to the authorities named in the case.

In 2019, conversations revealed from the content obtained by the website The Intercept Brazil, published in partnership with the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, demonstrated the way Lava Jato’s attorneys handled negotiations with OAS construction company lawyers to agree the award agreement for Pinheiro.

“About Lula, they didn’t even want to bring apt. Guarujá,” he wrote in a conversation with telegram the promoter Sérgio Bruno Cabral Fernandes to other members of the negotiation team with the contractor: “[Os advogados] they said there was no crime”.


Negotiations between OAS and Lava Jato began in February 2016. The above messages date from August of the same year. Léo Pinheiro only presented the version about the triplex in Guarujá that allowed Lula’s prosecution and conviction in April 2017. Months earlier, in June 2016, Brazilian newspapers reported that Léo Pinheiro denied having paid any bribes to the former president.

The published messages show that the reports presented by the company were changing until the prosecutors agreed to sign a confidentiality agreement with the OAS lawyers. The period of negotiations was troubled, involved episodes of leaks of the contents of the press reports, and culminated in the arrest of Léo Pinheiro.

The testimony of the former contractor, on April 24, 2017, was crucial for the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) to establish connections between the apartment and the alleged cases of corruption at Petrobras, essential for the case to be maintained in Curitiba and judged by then judge Sergio Moro.

At the time of the revelation of the messages, the defense of the former president in the case (lawyers Cristiano Zanin and Valeska Martins) reaffirmed the thesis that the negotiation had been conducted in such a way that the whistleblower involved Lula.

“Léo Pinheiro, who throughout the process had never incriminated Lula, was pressured and suddenly changed his previous position in exchange for benefits negotiated with attorneys in Curitiba, obtaining a substantial reduction in his sentence,” the lawyers wrote.

remember the timeline

November 2014

Léo Pinheiro’s first arrest dates back to November 2014. Five months later, in April 2015, the Supreme Court (STF) decided that he would be placed under house arrest.

June 2016

Sentenced to 16 years in prison, the businessman agreed to make a winning statement. His complaint was refused in June because, according to an article published in Folha de São Paulo, did not incriminate Lula.

August 2016

At the end of August, the Attorney General’s Office suspended negotiations with Léo Pinheiro and the OAS. Lula’s lawyers are asking for information to be investigated that the complaint was refused for exonerating the former president.

September 2016

Two weeks after Léo Pinheiro’s first complaint was refused, the businessman was arrested again. According to the order of the then lower court judge Sergio Moro, for “guarantee of public order, convenience of criminal instruction and security in the application of criminal law”.

November 2016

Pressure intensifies on the businessman in November, when his sentence is increased by 10 years. The matter of The State of São Paulo that reports the case refers to the difficulty in getting a complaint from Léo Pinheiro.

April 2017

Finally, in April 2017, Léo Pinheiro bends over, changes lawyers and makes a statement incriminating Lula. The businessman says he was the only person responsible within the OAS for the triplex issue and makes it clear that he has no proof of the alleged success.

Edition: Vivian Virissimo

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