Brazil prosecutors: Lula actively involved in criminal scheme in Petrobras

According to prosecutors, Lula already admitted in testimony that he

Published in 05/08/2016 - 19:42 By Michèlle Canes reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brasília - O juiz federal Sérgio Moro, responsável pela Operação Lava Jato na primeira instância da Justiça Federal do Paraná, defendeu hoje (4), na Câmara, a revisão das penas mínimas aplicadas em casos de c

Judge Sérgio MoroJosé Cruz/Agência Brasil

The Federal Prosecution Service (MPF) wrote an opinion paper to Paraná's Federal Court in which it defends that former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's case is within judge Sérgio Moro's competence. The 70-page opinion paper is a response to the case filed by the former president's defense, questioning the judge's competence.

In the document, the MPF says the former president was aware of the criminal scheme, probed under Operation Car Wash, and is actively involved in it.

"Thus, examining the strong evidence detailed below, several facts related to the scheme in Petrobras that involved bid rigging indicate that former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was aware of the criminal structure and benefited from it," reads the text.

For the MPF, "there is evidence that Lula is actively involved in the criminal scheme that caused losses to Petrobras, and also that he got, directly and indirectly, undue advantages over this criminal structure," declared the prosecutors.

The document reports that the scheme was active until at least 2014 and, according to prosecutors, they used to pay bribes as political donations and that "already in 2005, Lula admitted that he was aware of 'slush funds' for financing political campaigns."

According to the MPF, in a testimony to the Federal Police, Lula also mentioned the list of nominations for positions at Petrobras.

"Moreover, according to a recent testimony to the Federal Police about the Petrobras directors appointed, he admitted that he 'received the directors' names from signed political agreements'. In other words, Lula knew that companies made “unregistered” political donations and that there was an avid allotment of offices."

The MPF also said that even after the end of his mandate, the former president "has benefited directly and indirectly from financial transactions made by contractors involved in Operation Car Wash."

Ex-presidente Lula participa da 5 Conferência Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional (Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil)

Former president Lula Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil

Lula's defense

Through a statement, the former president's defense claims that the opinion paper submitted by the MPF "is not a technical document, because the appeal filed on their procedural issue was sole related to the impossibility of having a judge from Curitiba, Sérgio Moro, willing to be Brazil's universal judge."

According to the defense, the allegations made about the former president aim to "cover up MPF's lack of arguments on the incompetence of Curitiba's Court to conduct the case." The note also says that since March prosecutors have made “defamatory” claims about the former president.

"The truth is that the Federal Prosecution Service conducted improper inquests on Lula and on his relatives, and found that the former president had not committed any crime. But, instead of recognizing Lula's innocence, its members want to condemn him through newspapers' and magazines' headlines," reads the text.

For the attorneys, Operation Car Wash investigation related to the former president is not respecting the fundamental rights. The release of the document delivered by the MPF to the press "can be only seen as an act of retaliation for [Lula's] appeal to the UN and as another step in the political repression against Lula," ends the note, signed by attorneys Cristiano Zanin Martins and Roberto Teixeira.


Translated by Amarílis Anchieta


Fonte: Brazil prosecutors: Lula actively involved in criminal scheme in Petrobras

Edition: Carolina Pimentel / Olga Bardawil

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