Ex-Odebrecht director links Brazil's president to illegal transfers: report

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A former director of Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht SA told prosecutors that the company made several illegal contributions to politicians from the ruling PMDB party including President Michel Temer, according to a report aired Friday night by Globo TV.

If prosecutors prove the accusations, Temer could face an impeachment trial that could destabilize his six-month-old government, which already lost several ministers after similar accusations from other construction firms embroiled in wide-ranging corruption probe.

Claudio Melo Filho, a former institutional relations director at Odebrecht, said according to the report, that he took part in a dinner at Temer’s official residency in Brasília in 2014 where company executives agreed to transfer 10 million reais ($2.95 million) to finance PMDB campaigns that year.

The director said he and other Odebrecht officials received indications from PMDB politicians who took part in their meetings that the company would be favored in votes in Congress that affected the engineering group.

Reuters was not able to verify the report.

Temer’s press office released a statement denying the accusations.

“The donations made by Odebrecht to PMDB were all through bank transfers and were declared to the electoral court,” the statement said.

Besides Temer, the director said several key ministers in the government also received donations.

Melo Filho is just one of more than 70 executives from Odebrecht, including the former Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Odebrecht, who agreed to a plea deal with the Justice last week.

Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Lisa Shumaker