A former political consultant has accused Venezuelan President Maduro of paying her $11 mln to cover the costs of the 2012 election campaign of Hugo Chavez, using money she says was provided illegally by Brazilian companies.
Monica Moura, a Brazilian who was running the Chavez campaign with her husband, made the accusation in plea bargain evidence that is part of Brazil’s probe into a huge bribery scheme at the state oil company Petrobras.
She alleged most of the cash given to her by Mr Maduro came from major Brazilian construction companies Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez.
There was no immediate comment from Mr Maduro or Venezuela’s government about the accusations, which were made public by Brazil’s Supreme Court.
Ms Moura told Brazilian authorities that Mr Maduro gave her binders filled with cash at his office when he was Venezuela’s foreign minister under Mr Chavez, his predecessor as president.
Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez spokesmen declined to comment on her evidence, but said the companies are co-operating with Brazilian investigators.
Odebrecht has admitted in a plea deal with US prosecutors that it paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes across Latin America for help in winning public works contracts.
Ms Moura is married to Joao Santana, Brazil’s most acclaimed political campaigner.