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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July, 2005, 20:04 GMT 21:04 UK
Brazil MPs seek corruption arrest
Marcos Valerio
Marcos Valerio denies wrongdoing
A congressional committee in Brazil has recommended that Marcos Valerio, the publicist at the centre of a major corruption scandal, be arrested.

MPs want to stop him from destroying documents relating to their inquiry into whether the ruling Workers' Party paid bribes to its allies in Congress.

The panel also said Mr Valerio's assets should be frozen. Brazilian prosecutors will assess the two recommendations.

Mr Valerio is accused of channelling the payments, but denies wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, a congressional hearing into alleged corruption was told the president's ex-chief-of-staff knew of illegal loans to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's party.

The claim was made by Mr Valerio's wife who has admitted lending the party nearly $17m (10m).

The money was never declared to the country's electoral authorities.

Jose Dirceu resigned as chief-of-staff last month, denying allegations that the money had been used to bribe lawmakers.

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