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The Associated Press December 16, 2010, 11:38AM ET

Brazil airline co-founder held in murder attempt

A co-founder of Brazil's second largest airline has been arrested for allegedly trying to have his former son-in-law killed, a court official said Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor' s office in the capital city of Brasilia said that Constantino de Oliveira is suspected of ordering a gunman to kill Eduardo Alves Queiroz in 2008. The attack failed.

Oliveira was detained Wednesday.

The spokeswoman declined to be identified because of court regulations, and she would not provide further details.

The office of Oliveira'a attorney, Alberto Zacharias Toron, said he was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Oliveira founded Gol Lineas Aereas Intelligentes SA with his sons. He is no longer an officer of the company, which is headed by one of his sons.

Oliveira is already a defendant in another case in which he is accused of ordering the 2001 killing of community leader Marcio Sousa Brito in a land-dispute. He denies involvement in that crime.

According to Brasilia's Correio Braziliense newspaper, Queiroz told police two months before the gunman shot at him that he knew of Oliveira's plan to kill Brito, who had led a group of landless farmers that occupied land owned by Oliveira.

Oliveira is a former long-haul trucker who started a bus company in the 1950s and built it into one of the country's biggest. He started the budget airline in 2001.

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