- Title: Brazil arrests former Rio governor in corruption probe: police
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF THE MARACANA STADIUM
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 13:52
- Keywords: Brazil Rio de Janeiro Sergio Cabral corruption World Cup
- Location: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- City: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA00358U2SSJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
The former governor of Rio de Janeiro state was arrested on Thursday (November 17) as part of a corruption investigation linked to World Cup building projects that could fuel further political instability in Brazil.
Prosecutors accused Sergio Cabral of leading a group that embezzled 220 million reais ($64 million dollars) from public building schemes.
He is one of the highest-profile politicians to be arrested in recent months in the two-year corruption probe known as operation "Car Wash."
Dozens of anti-corruption protesters hurled insults at him as he came out on to the street after Brazilian federal police arrested him at his home in Rio's up-market Leblon neighbourhood.
He made no comment and his lawyers did not immediately respond to calls.
The Rio state prosecutor's office said in a statement that Cabral led a group of former officials and construction executives in a bribery scheme linked to public works, including the refurbishing of the 2014 World Cup Maracana stadium.
Operation "Car Wash," which initially centred on accusations of corruption at state-run oil company Petrobras, led to the political upheaval that ultimately toppled leftist President Dilma Rousseff earlier this year on charges of doctoring public accounts.
Cabral was a close ally of Rousseff and also a member of her successor President Michel Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).
Cabral's arrest came just a day after another former Rio governor, Anthony Garotinho, was arrested for alleged voter fraud in a state that is struggling with a gruelling fiscal crisis and anti-austerity protests.
"I think Brazil is starting to show signs that there is a way out. The people were needing this, a sign out of the judiciary," Rio resident Cristiano Barbosa told Reuters at news of the recent arrests.
The state that earlier this year hosted the summer Olympics is now facing difficulties paying its employees and maintaining basic public services such as security.
Cabral served as governor from 2007 to 2014, when he quit amid growing street demonstrations against him.
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