Brasília Federal Judge Vallisney de Souza Oliveira Wednesday (Jul 24) decided to acquit former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of criminal organization and money embezzlement charges in one of the cases regarding the construction giant Odebrecht, said to have been favored in contracts in Angola. Lula’s nephew Taiguara Rodrigues dos Santos was also absolved of part of the charges.
In his decision, the judge considers that part of the accusation was covered by charges previously filed by federal prosecutors on contracts of the National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) for the government of Angola. Oliveira also understands that no evidence was produced showing that the former president had a link with a contract from Odebrecht Angola and Exergia, which was one of the accusations in the charges.
“Taking this into account, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, charged, must be immediately acquitted of the crime of participating in criminal organization,” the judge wrote in his ruling.
Lula’s counsel argues that the former leader “never requested or received any undue advantage before or after serving as president, or during his term of office.”