Brazil testimony may link two billionaires to graft probe

A former Brazilian cabinet minister is offering prosecutors evidence of graft involving two prominent billionaires who allegedly sought help from politicians to undertake deals during the left wing Workers Party administration, two newspapers reported on Wednesday.

Antônio Palocci has decided to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence related to his role in those crimes, according to the reports in Folha de S. Paulo and Valor Econômico. He has been under arrest since September 2016.

As part of his plea deal, Palocci is seeking house arrest for one year, Folha said. In exchange, he offered to give evidence on deals involving André Esteves, founder of Grupo BTG Pactual SA, and Abílio Diniz, whose family built a supermarket empire that he later sold to Casino Ghichard Perrachon SA.

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