News Daily Spot: Rousseff's chief of staff and a Brazilian senator will be investigated for irregularities

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Rousseff's chief of staff and a Brazilian senator will be investigated for irregularities

The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil (STF) approved on Tuesday the opening of an investigation the chief of staff of President Dilma Rousseff, Aloizio Mercadante, and the senator and vice president of the main opposition party, Aloysio Nunes, for irregularities in their personal campaigns the 2010 elections.

Prosecutors had requested authorization to investigate both for the alleged crimes of falsification and money laundering in its failed five-year career to the state government of Sao Paulo, where Mercadante ago, and for the Senate seat of Nunes, the Social Democratic Party (PSDB).

Supreme Judge Celso de Mello, however, in its decision to separate these investigations of the so-called "Petrolao" investigating the giant web of corruption in state oil company Petrobras.

"These cars notician facts that, in theory, could constitute criminal practices whose materiality and authorship claim extensive research (...) in order to investigate, against the background under review, the reality of the events referred to in the 'criminis notitia' expressed the betrayal of the partner Ricardo Ribeiro Pessoa "argued De Mello in the decision to which AFP had access.

Pessoa was the owner of a major construction company involved in the "Petrolao" and, following his arrest in November, working with justice to reduce his sentence.

The businessman, who since April is under house arrest, reportedly said in his confession that undeclared amounts donated from a parallel to the campaigns of the current minister and senator in 2010 Nunes accounting.

Both Mercadante, one of Rousseff's closest collaborators, as Nunes strongly denied any involvement in illicit activities issued separate statements Tuesday.

Pessoa also cited irregular operations have performed with, among others, José de Filippi, campaign treasurer in 2006 of former President Lula and Rousseff in 2010. Decisions on their case should take an ordinary court having no charters.

The investigation against his chief of staff opens at a time of great stress to President Rousseff, who faces a complex cocktail that mixes economic recession, low popularity and a Congress in absentia.

In this research the biggest corruption scandal in history joins Brazil, where large construction companies formed a cartel and paid bribes to leaders of Petrobras for 10 years in exchange for contracts.

Dozens of incumbents of several parties are investigated by justice under the "Petrolao" as well as several heavyweights from the ruling Workers Party.

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