Has Brazil devolved to political assassinations? Perhaps, for now there is little information aside from the news which hit Bloomberg moments ago that a Brazilian Supreme Court Justice, Teori Zavascki, who has presided over Operation Carwash, a massive corruption probe, is on the list of passengers of a crashed jet on Thursday afternoon.
The Supreme Court confirmed that Teori Zavascki was on the list of passengers on board the plane which fell into the sea near the town of Paraty, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Globo reported moments ago. The plane, a BE9L King Air, had four passengers on board, according to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.
As Bloomberg adds, Zavascki is the judge overseeing Operation Carwash at the Supreme Court. Carwash is an investigation into corruption at the state-run oil firm Petrobras that has ensnared dozens of Brazil’s leading business executives and politicians, spearheaded by Judge Sergio Moro.
Reuters adds that the condition of Justice Zavascki, who is overseeing a massive corruption investigation, not immediately known after plane crash.
Some background on Justice Zavascki from the following Reuters article as of September 2016:
Brazil’s Supreme Court on Friday approved a preliminary investigation into plea bargain deal allegations from former Transpetro head Sergio Machado that President Michel Temer had solicited campaign donations in 2012 that had illicit origin.
Brazil Supreme Court Judge Teori Zavascki approved the probe that also cites Senate President Renan Calheiros, among others, the court said.
Transpetro is a wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleo Brasileiro SA, also known as Petrobras, the state-controlled oil company ensnared in Brazil’s largest ever corruption scandal.
Brazil’s Supreme Court revealed in June that parts of Machado’s plea bargain testimony alleges that the campaign contribution requested by Temer was made legally by engineering group Queiroz Galvao but resulted from a kickback on contracts with Petrobras.
Temer has denied ever having requested any donations to Sao Paulo’s 2012 mayoral campaign run by Gabriel Chalita, then a member of Temer’s Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). His press office said would not comment on Friday.
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