Brazil's Lula summoned to testify in bribery case

Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reacts during a meeting with Rio de Janeiro's Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was summoned to testify as a witness for a lobbyist accused of paying bribes to alter legislation in favor of businesses, local media reported on Monday.

Lula and other former and current officials including Deputy Finance Minister Dyogo de Oliveira will testify on Jan. 25 at the request of the defense for jailed lobbyist Alexandre Paes dos Santos, media reported. Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports.

A spokesman for Lula did not immediately respond to emails seeking comments.

In December, Lula was called in for questioning by federal police in the same bribery investigation, which also involves his son Luis Claudio.

Lula is not under investigation in the case known as “Operacao Zelotes.”

Paes dos Santos is accused of charging businesses to change legislation in their favor during the Lula administration between 2003 and 2011.

Many lawmakers from Lula’s ruling Workers’ Party are under investigation for possible links to a separate bribery scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras <. Senator Delcidio do Amaral, the government’s leader in the Senate, was arrested in November and charged with obstructing the Petrobras investigation.

Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Peter Cooney