The president of Coca-Cola Co.'s operations in Brazil is to testify in front of a congressional hearing, according to a source close to the matter. The development follows accusations of dishonest business practices by the soft-drink giant, including irregularities related to competition and tax legislation.

The lower house of Congress is in charge of verifying the legitimacy of these accusations. Congressmen in Brazil could use the hearings as a starting point for further investigations into Coke's dealings.

The Justice Ministry's Department for Economic Rights is currently investigating the company over meetings between company representatives and agency officials. The investigation began after local rival Dolly accused Coke last year of intimidating suppliers and bribing government authorities.

Coke has denied Dolly's accusations from the beginning.

The source said that Coke's Brazilian unit president Brian Smith and Dolly's owner Laerte Codonho will both testify before the congressional panel on 13 April.