Source: Folha de S.Paulo
Topic: CADE — in charge of the Siemens bribery case here in São Paulo — has taken on the aspects of a political police, says local establishment
Translation: C. Brayton
In my experience, the local government — the Toucans of the PSDB for the last 20 years — can be relied upon to quickly and vociferously allege “political persecution” in circumstances such as these.
The state government of São Paulo today accused the federal antitrust authority CADE of acting as an “instrument of political police” in order to undermine officials of the PSDB.
The Folha revealed today that the German multinational Siemens presented Brazilian authorities in which it states that the government of São Paulo knew of and lent support to the formation of a cartel in bids on projects related to the subway and metro rail systems.
Siemens said that negotiations with representatives of the state are registered in “diaries” handed over to CADE by the company. CADE, the Administrative Council of Economic Defense, is an independent agency with ties to the Ministry of Justice.
Question about whether the government knew of the formation of a cartel, the chief of staff of the Alckmin government, Edson Aparecido (PSDB), said the charge was “pure slander”.
“What we are seeing is the undermiing of an important agency that exists to guarantee free competition but which has become an instrument of political police. The memory of Mario Covas has been smeared.”
Aparecido, assigned to respond to the accusations on behalf of governor Geraldo Alckmin, repeated the governor’s statement that no one has more interest in clarifying the case than his government. He also said that CADE has denied having access to the information in the case and is engaged in “selective leaking” of the accusations to the press.
The state prosecutor will file for a warrant that will enable it to obtain a copy of the documents in the possession of CADE.
The state judicial police this morning release 13 persons detained last night during protests against the Alckmin government,. All were interrogate and left the 78th Precinct without having to put up bail.
The SSP — secretariate of public safety — could not say what suspected crimes led to the arrests.
The antitrust authority released the following statement:
At the current stage of the investigation, it is not possible to determine the scope of the alleged cartel operating in bids for the acquisition of train cars, maintenance and construction of railways and subways in Brazil. The administrative inquiry conduccted by the Superintendent-General is a preliminary investigation. Only after analyzing all the material apprehended during the search and seizure operation of July 4 will it be possible to name the companies and persons involved, as well as the projects and cities affected and the period during which the cartel operated.
The administrative inquiry in the case is confidential, because the plea bargain is protected by legal confidentiality and the warrants for the search and seizure in Operation Crossed Line are protected by a gag order.
Filed under: Brazil