| LIMA, March 28
LIMA, March 28 Public prosecutors in Peru have
not ruled out investigating the country's biggest builder, Grana
y Montero , or people linked to the company as
part of an investigation into its scandal-plagued Brazilian
partner Odebrecht, a source in the attorney general's office
said on Tuesday.
The Justice Department said late on Monday that prosecutors
in the attorney general's office had rejected its request to
include Grana's former chairman, among others, in an inquiry
that aims to uncover who was involved in $29 million in bribes
that Odebrecht has acknowledged distributing in Peru.
Grana's shares were up by more than 10 percent on Tuesday
after the announcement, which helped lift expectations that the
company might avoid getting ensnared in Latin America's biggest
graft scandal and may even find work helping to rebuild parts of
Peru hit hard by recent floods and mudslides.
But the source in the attorney general's office said it was
premature to conclude that the Odebrecht inquiry would not be
broadened in the future to incorporate other suspects, including
potentially Grana executives or former executives, if the
evidence and prosecutorial strategy merits doing so.
The source was not authorized to comment and spoke on
condition of anonymity.
Grana could not immediately provide comment. It said in a
statement to Peru's market regulator on Tuesday that it did not
expect to see its businesses affected by a recent government
decree aimed at barring corrupt companies from public works
contracts because none of its executives have been convicted of
Grana has partnered with Odebrecht on several major public
work projects, including highways, toll roads and a metro line
in Lima. Grana saw its shares plummet after Odebrecht admitted
in December to distributing hundreds of millions in bribes
across Latin America.
Last month, the former head of Odebrecht in Peru was quoted
in a magazine telling prosecutors that Grana and its other local
partners on two highway contracts were aware of a deal to bribe
former President Alejandro Toledo and knew they would have to
"assume their part."
Grana has repeatedly denied knowing about Odebrecht's
kickback schemes in Peru and has vowed to cooperate with any
investigation. The company has said it tasked an independent
company to conduct an internal probe into its dealings with
Toledo has denied wrongdoing.
(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Bill Trott)