Plane carrying Brazil judge overseeing blockbuster political investigation 'crashes' into sea...

REUTERS --

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki was killed in a plane crash on Thursday, raising questions about who will take over his investigation into dozens of politicians in the country's biggest ever corruption scandal.

Rescuers found three bodies in the wreckage of the small, twin-prop plane that crashed off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state amid heavy rains, firefighters said.

Zavascki, 68, had in recent weeks been reviewing explosive testimony from executives at engineering group Odebrecht, expected to implicate hundreds of politicians in a scandal involving kickbacks on contracts at state-run enterprises.

The dual-propeller Hawker Beechcraft C90GT carrying Zavascki left a Sao Paulo airport around 1 p.m. (1500 GMT). It crashed into the sea about 80 minutes later near its destination in the tourist town of Paraty, according to air force and civil aviation authorities.

The plane belonged to luxury hotel group Emiliano, according to civil aviation authority ANAC. No information was provided on the identity of others killed in the crash.

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