Brazil leniency deals on hold for corruption probe: minister

Negotiations on leniency deals between the Brazilian government and 12 companies blacklisted in the Petrobras corruption scandal have been put on hold until prosecutors conclude plea bargains with executives, Brazil’s anti-corruption minister told Reuters.

Transparency Minister Torquato Jardim said he was keen to get the construction firms back to work on government contracts once they have paid fines, but prosecutors must first conclude Brazil’s biggest corruption investigation.

The blacklisted companies employ 90,000 engineers and technical staff, and have contracts with hundreds of suppliers. The government wants to lift the freezes as they have put tens of thousands of people out of work and hit gross domestic product during Brazil’s worst recession since the 1930s.

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