Brazilian construction company Odebrecht paid 7.3 million reais (2.3 million U.S. dollars) in bribes to gain contract for the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio ahead of the 2014 World Cup, the Supreme Court was told.

In the confessions released by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Odebrecht’s head of structural operations, Benedito Barbosa da Silva Junior, admitted that close to 6.3 million reais (2.02 million dollars) were paid to the former state governor of Rio, Sergio Cabral, who was arrested for corruption in November.

The rest of the money was paid to members of Rio de Janeiro’s state accounts court, an institution authorized to guarantee that public contracts are assigned legally.

Former Odebrecht executives Marcos Vidigal do Amaral, Leandro Andrade Azevedo and Joao Borba all stated in their testimonies that Jonas Lopes, the president of the state accounts court, received 320,000 U.S. dollars in bribes.

They also said that the Maracana contract was rigged so that Odebrecht would carry out the work alongside with two other companies on the orders of Cabral.

The remodelling of Maracana, one of the most famous football stadiums in the world, was carried out ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

The initial budget for the project was set 705 million reais (225 million dollars), but rose to over 1.2 billion reais (384 million dollars) in the end. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/