March 15, 2016 / 6:48 PM / 2 years ago

Brazil minister denies he tried to interfere in Petrobras probe

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian Education Minister Aloizio Mercadante on Tuesday denied he offered to pay for the silence of a former ruling party senator to prevent him from implicating the government in a sweeping investigation at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Aloizio Mercadante participates in a ceremony to reappoint Brazil's Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot to the position of Prosecutor-General of the Republic at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, September 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Mercadante, President Dilma Rousseff’s former chief of staff and one of her closest advisers, was accused by Senator Delcidio do Amaral in plea-bargain testimony of trying to interfere in the investigation. Amaral said Mercadante offered to help him financially, according to a transcript of his testimony.

Reporting by Alonso Soto and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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