CONFLICTS

Brazil Supreme Court validates plea bargains in graft probe

The head of Brazil's Supreme Court has validated 77 plea bargains with officials from a construction giant involved in a major corruption probe, a significant step toward investigations of top politicians and businessmen.

The court says that the dossiers from the deals are being sent to the prosecutor Monday.

The plea bargains are with executives and former executives of construction giant Odebrecht, which was one of the main players in a kickback scheme involving inflated contracts at the state-run oil company Petrobras and other state companies. Prosecutors say the scheme yielded more than $2 billion in bribes over a decade.

The probe has already ensnared dozens of politicians and executives, but the plea bargains are expected to detail even more wrongdoing and lead to more arrests.