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Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Brazil banker jailed for bribery

Brazilian police with evidence seized in corruption investigation - Rio de Janeiro, 8/7/2008
Police conducted a wide-ranging corruption investigation in summer

A Brazilian judge has convicted leading banker Daniel Dantas of corruption and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

The judge found Dantas guilty of offering police a $1m (670,000) bribe to halt a money laundering probe into him and several other businessmen.

His lawyers say he will appeal the sentencing, pending which he remains free.

Dantas was arrested and freed twice in two days in July, prompting a major row among Brazil's judiciary.

Each time, the banking tycoon - who headed a financial group called Opportunity - was ordered released by Brazil's Supreme Court, which said there was not enough evidence.

More than 130 Brazilian judges then signed a public letter in support of the lower court judge who had ordered his arrest.

Mr Dantas was arrested as part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation.

Prosecutors in Sao Paulo accuse him of laundering $2bn (1.3bn) between 1993 and 2004 though Opportunity by using offshore fiscal havens.

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SEE ALSO
Brazil's judges in corruption row
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Brazil makes corruption arrests
10 Apr 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
22 Apr 08 |  Country profiles

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