Brazil Supreme Court overturns Odebrecht asset freeze

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge on Thursday overturned an audit court ruling that had frozen the assets of industrial conglomerate Odebrecht due to alleged overcharging on a refinery built for state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Last month, the TCU federal audit court froze 2.1 billion reais ($646 million) of assets pertaining to a consortium of Odebrecht SA and OAS SA, which rendered services for the Abreu e Lima refinery in northeast Brazil.

Supreme Court Justice Marco Aurelio Mello ruled that the law cited to seize those assets applied only to public servants.

The decision applied to the Odebrecht assets frozen by the TCU decision. OAS must appeal to the Supreme Court separately.

Odebrecht declined to comment on the matter.

($1 = 3.2525 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Aluisio Alves and Eduardo Simoes; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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