Federal judge shelves triplex case against ex-president Lula

The former leader is free from all sanctions in the case

Published in 28/01/2022 - 15:51 By Felipe Pontes - Brasília

Substitute Judge Pollyanna Martins Alves, of the 12th Federal Court of Brasília, decided yesterday (Jan. 27) to shelve the case concerning the triplex apartment in São Paulo’s coastal Guarujá. In the case, conducted under Operation Car Wash, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was accused of money laundering and corruption.

In the move, the judge grants a December motion from federal prosecutors asking to have all punishing intent barred due to Lula’s age. The onetime leader is 76 years old.

The erstwhile president therefore is shielded from any possible sentence. Under criminal law, a case is barred by the statue of limitations after just half the regular time when the individual accused is older than 70. The same applies to Leo Pinheiro—former executive with construction firm OAS—and Paulo Okamoto—head of the Lula Institute at the time of the investigation. Both were targeted in the case.

Lula had actually been sentenced in the triplex apartment case by former Judge Sergio Moro and had its sentence upheld by the regional judges as well as the Superior Court of Justice. At the Supreme Court, however, the ruling was made void after Moro was considered unfit to try the case, as he was deemed partial.

After the motion was filed by federal prosecutors, Lula’s counsel declared that “the case was constructed artificially based on a collusion between ex-Judge Sergio Moro and former prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol in a bid to have the former president arrested and removed from the 2018 elections, blemishing his reputation, as we have always sustained.”

At the time, Moro talked about the matter on social media. “Legal maneuvering is bringing an end once and for all to the case surrounding the triplex apartment of Lula, accused as part of [Operation] Car Wash. Corruption crimes should never have a limitation period, as the damage inflicted on society, which dies from the lack of appropriate health care, which makes no progress in education, will never be redressed,” he declared.

In a note, former Car Wash prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol described the alleged collusion as “absurd and fanciful.”

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio

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