Brazil’s Minister of Justice and Public Security Sergio Moro said today (Jun 19) that he accepted the invitation to occupy a post in the federal government in November 2018 in order to consolidate the work that had been done by the task force of Operation Car Wash, a probe into corruption cases.
“We worked for five years on these anti-corruption operations,” the minister said during a Senate hearing, referring to the work of judges and prosecutors. “[At this time] I was routinely attacked by those who did not want changes in the pattern of efforts against the impunity of large-scale corruption. There was always the shadow of [possible] setbacks. [The possibility] that, after a change, a change in the course of events, everything achieved could be lost. I took the invitation to become minister of Justice and Public Security as an opportunity to consolidate these strides against corruption and advance the fight against organized crime and violence. This is why I agreed to become minister, and that’s what I’ve been doing,” Moro declared, saying he has never “colluded” with prosecutors.
“My decisions were submitted to appeal courts. I don’t believe a judge has ever had so many appeals filed against their decisions, because the cases were difficult. These were appeals by powerful people submitted to court, the Superior Court of Justice and the Supreme Court. And whoever was convicted faced a conviction as a result of the evidence proving they committed corruption, major corruption. What took place was the seizure of Petrobras to serve the special interests of unscrupulous public and private agents,” Moro added, restating that he never based his actions on ideological convictions.
To corroborate his statement, the minister pointed out that sentences were pronounced in 45 of the 90 reports filed by federal prosecutors. Of these, the Federal Prosecution Service filed appeals in 44. “This clearly shows not collusion, but disagreement,” Moro went on to say, adding that 291 people were accused and 211 convicted, compared to 63 acquittals—“another sign there’s no absolute consensus between federal prosecutors and the judge or between the police and the federal prosecutors.” In addition, of the 298 requests for provisional detention, 91 were rejected.