Olympics: Brazil judge lifts injunction on public funds for Games

Brazil's Presidential Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha had announced on August 4 that the federal government would provide 120 million reais (S$50.2 million) to the organising committee.
Brazil's Presidential Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha had announced on August 4 that the federal government would provide 120 million reais (S$50.2 million) to the organising committee. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge on Wednesday lifted an injunction on the federal and city government using public money to help finance the organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Federal judge Guilherme Couto de Castro said the block on transfers of public money could seriously disrupt next month's Paralympic Games, for which organisers have said they still need additional funding.

Brazil's Presidential Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha announced on Aug 4, the day before the Rio Olympics' lavish opening ceremony, that the federal government would provide 120 million reais (S$50.2 million) to the organising committee and the city of Rio would make a further 150 million available.

The judge said that failure to disburse the funds would mean that the Rio 2016 organising committee would not be able to make payments to national Paralympic organisations for travel, food and uniforms, making it impossible for some countries to participate.

The judge said that his order to unblock the funding did not overrule a previous court's decision to require organisers to disclose their revenues and spending.

Last week, judge Marcia Maria Nunes granted a request by prosecutors to freeze the transfer of public funds unless the accounts were made public.