Brazilian Chief Justice Carmen Lúcia on Monday ordered 77 key depositions to be accepted as evidence in a sweeping probe of official corruption. The decision ended a week-old logjam following the death of Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki earlier this month; Zavascki had been handling depositions in the case. The Chief Justice said she was personally taking over the depositions because of their importance to the ongoing investigation. The 77 depositions were taken under a limited immunity agreement from current and former executives at Odebrecht, Brazil’s largest building contractor. The depositions can now be used as evidence by prosecutors developing cases in the corruption investigation. Lúcia, however, ordered the depositions to remain sealed so that only judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers can have access to them. Press reports have speculated that the depositions may name dozens of political figures in schemes involving bribery, money laundering and illegal campaign funding.
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