Former Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva cries as he speaks to supporters at the bank workers' trade union site in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
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Lula was not arrested, but held for questioning over alleged "favors" received from corrupt construction companies implicated in a kickback scheme, prosecutors said.Lula remains one of Brazil's most influential and powerful figures, and his fate is closely linked to that of his successor Rousseff, and the future of the Workers' Party."The favors to Lula from big construction companies involved in the fraud at Petrobras were many and hard to quantify," prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Lima told reporters.Prosecutors say they are also examining Lula's allegedly wider role in a Petrobras-related web of corruption that enveloped the Workers' Party, the Lula Institute and election campaign finances.Lula's detention came a day after a bombshell claim by a Brazilian magazine that a former close ally of Lula and Rousseff – a senior Workers' Party senator who has already been charged with Petrobras corruption crimes – was preparing to testify against them.Senator Delcidio do Amaral, who was arrested last November, was reportedly negotiating a plea bargain deal with prosecutors in which he would testify that Rousseff obstructed the probe and that Lula had also been involved in the scheme.
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