RIO DE JANEIRO, May 6 (Xinhua) -- A Brazilian federal prosecutor Friday charged with 20 more politicians and businessmen related to a corruption scandal of the state oil company Petrobras, including people close to President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Federal Prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol announced the charges at a press conference in Curitiba, capital of the southern state of Parana where the investigations are based.
Those involved include former Senator Gim Argello, former Treasurer of the ruling Workers' Party Delubio Soares, former President of the Odebrecht construction company Marcelo Odebrecht, and former President of the OAS construction company Leo Pinheiros.
The suspects allegedly have embezzled a loan of 12 million reais (3.3 million U.S. dollars) from the private Schahin bank, according to the prosecutor.
Part of the loan money, intended to be used by Petrobras, allegedly ended up in the hands of businessman Jose Carlos Bumlai, a close friend of Lula, to settle the ruling party's campaign debts in the city of Sao Paulo, said Dallagnol. To repay the bank, funds were used from a Petrobras contract to loan an oil exploration vessel.
Argello, a close ally of Rousseff, negotiated bribes for construction companies contracted by state-owned oil company Petrobras, according to the prosecutor.
The Petrobras corruption scandal has involved numerous politicians, businessmen and executives, who allegedly embezzled at least 2 billion dollars between 2004 and 2014.
Dallagnol said that since the investigation began two years ago, 207 people have been charged and 111 of them have been found guilty and sentenced.