October 18, 2016 / 3:25 PM / 3 years ago

Swiss court approves transfer of Petrobras bank data

ZURICH, Oct 18 (Reuters) - A Swiss appeals court has ruled prosecutors may share with Brazil bank documents that could shed light on allegations of corruption at Brazilian state oil group Petrobras.

The Federal Criminal Court allowed the move after blocking such a transfer in January on the grounds that prosecutors had not followed proper procedures for granting mutual legal assistance, documents posted on its website showed on Tuesday.

Some of the parties involved have submitted another appeal before the Swiss Federal Court, so the rulings are not yet final, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General said.

The probe centred on Petroleo Brasileiro, known as Petrobras, has uncovered systemic corruption at multiple companies and at the highest levels of government.

Allegations of bribes and political kickbacks linked to the company have triggered protests across Brazil and fuelled anger against senior politicians.

Swiss federal prosecutors have said they have received reports of around 340 suspicious banking relations in relation to the corruption probe, opened around 60 enquiries and frozen around $800 million since 2014.

Swiss authorities said this year they have requested documents relating to more than 1,000 accounts from over 40 banking institutions.

The owners of the Swiss accounts are “senior executives of Petrobras and of its suppliers, financial intermediaries, Brazilian politicians and directly or indirectly Brazilian or other foreign companies”, the attorney general’s office has said. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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