SAO PAULO (AP) -- The former head of Brazil's Petrobras is testifying before a parliamentary investigative committee about the corruption scandal that has shaken the state-run oil giant.
Maria das Gracas Foster said company executives were surprised by the probe that last year revealed the massive kickback scheme, which is thought to have involved at least $800 million.
Prosecutors have alleged that the nation's biggest construction and oil firms paid large bribes to former Petrobras officials and politicians in return for inflated contracts. Money is also alleged to have been funneled back to the campaign coffers of the ruling Workers' Party and its allies.
Foster said Thursday the investigation prompted Petrobras to stop awarding contracts to companies suspected of involvement.