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Brazil's governing party to sue magazine

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  • Walter Lippmann
    SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1102AP_Brazil_Workers_Party.html Monday, October 31, 2005 · Last updated 5:25 p.m. PT
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2005
      SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
      http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1102AP_Brazil_Workers_Party.html

      Monday, October 31, 2005 · Last updated 5:25 p.m. PT

      Brazil's governing party to sue magazine

      THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

      SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Brazil's governing party vowed Monday to file a
      libel suit against the country's leading weekly news magazine for
      reporting that Cuba illegally helped finance President Luiz Inacio
      Lula da Silva's 2002 electoral campaign.

      In a statement posted on its Web site, the Workers' Party said it
      would sue newsweekly Veja for slander and libel. The magazine
      reported in this week's editions that the party received up to $3
      million through a Cuban diplomat for the campaign, a donation that
      would violate Brazil's electoral law.

      The report said Silva's electoral committee received the funds in
      October and September 2002 through a former Cuban diplomat identified
      as Sergio Cervantes.

      Both the Brazilian government and the Cuban Embassy have denied the
      report.

      Veja officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the
      party's decision to sue.

      The magazine based its report on interviews with two former aides of
      Finance Minister Antonio Palocci, including Rogerio Buratti, who
      recently accused Palocci of taking kickbacks from contractors when he
      was mayor of the city of Ribeirao Preto in the 1990s. The aids said
      they learned of the alleged Cuban funds from a third Palocci aid who
      has since died.

      Silva, who became Brazil's first elected leftist president in 2002,
      is a longtime friend of Cuban President Fidel Castro.

      Opposition parties said they would call for an investigation into the
      magazine's report.

      The allegations came five months after a corruption scandal involving
      high-ranking members of the Workers Party threw the country into a
      political crisis.

      In June, former Congressman Roberto Jefferson, a former government
      ally, testified that the party financed campaigns illegally and
      bribed legislators for their support in Congress.

      The party acknowledged irregularities in its campaign financing, but
      Jefferson was later expelled from Congress for not proving the
      corruption allegations.

      Silva has not been linked to the corruption scandal and has not said
      whether he will run for re-election in 2006.
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