Prosecutors seeking remand warrant against Lula for concealing assets

Prosecutors charge that former president Lula is the actual owner of a

Published in 11/03/2016 - 10:21 By Ivan Richard reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

São Paulo - O promotor do Ministério Público do Estado de São Paulo Cássio Conserino (Reprodução/TV)

São Paulo -Prosecutor Cássio Conserino Reprodução de TV

The State Prosecutor's Office of São Paulo have filed for a remand warrant against President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and six other people. Prosecutors Cássio Conserino, José Carlos Blat and Fernando Henrique Moraes de Araújo filed a complaint against Lula on charges of money laundering for concealment of assets and misrepresentation in buying a triplex apartment in Guarujá, a beach city in São Paulo state.

In their request submitted to a criminal court in São Paulo, the prosecutors said a remand warrant applies for the purposes of “ensuring public order, economic order, for the convenience of evidence gathering, or to ensure criminal law enforcement in case of a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been perpetrated,” the document read.

According to the prosecutors' charges, Lula has “defied public order by challenging the legal establishment, especially after he became the target of investigations under the State Prosecutor's Office of São Paulo and Operation Car Wash. As a former top national authority, the accused, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, should never have ignited the population to turn against criminal investigations conducted by public prosecutors, police, or against court rulings.”

The prosecutors went on, “Through his party political connections, the accused, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has consistently attempted maneuvers to keep the criminal prosecutors from continuing the investigations,” mentioning an episode when Deputy Paulo Teixeira (a fellow Workers' Party member) filed a complaint against Prosecutor Cássio Conserino with the National Public Prosecutors' Council which called off the questioning of former president Lula and his wife Marisa Letícia that had been slated for February in São Paulo. They also referred to Lula's statement at the Workers' Party headquarters in São Paulo, after being taken for questioning by Federal Police under a bench warrant as part of stage 24 of Operation Car Wash.

The triplex apartment

Prosecutors say the triplex apartment in Guarujá was assigned by OAS to Lula and his family. During a press conference, Conserino said about nearly two dozen people reported that the apartment was earmarked for former president Lula. “Among these people were workers at the building, the caretaker, the concierge, residents, an OAS employee, a former OAS employee; even the owner of the construction company that renovated the apartment said he held a meeting to present part of the completed project which was attended by the former president's wife and her son, as well as Mr. Léo Pinheiro (then CEO at OAS),” said Conserino.

Among the other six people for whom prosecutors are also seeking custody are Léo Pinheiro and João Vaccari Neto, who, besides being the former chairman of Bancoop housing cooperative bank originally in charge of the building development, is also a former Workers' Party treasurer and is jailed under Operation Car Wash. Bancoop went bankrupt and left the project unfinished, and OAS construction company took over the project completion.

The indictment and custody request are now pending before the criminal court. When the court will consider the petition is still open.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Prosecutors seeking remand warrant against Lula for concealing assets

Edition: Carolina Pimentel / Olga Bardawil

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