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Lula's defense team insists there are no impediments for knowing of the requests received for international cooperation on the case.
An order from Brazil's Higher Court of Justice (TSJ) to the Justice Ministry demanded information about U.S. requests for cooperation in the Car Wash (Lava Jato) case, which led to legal actions against former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.
The decision, emitted by judge Sergio Kukina, comes after a request made by Lula's legal defense team. His counsel denounced that the FBI acted without respecting the procedure for accessing the cryptography system of the Odebrecht conglomerate.
The request focuses on information regarding the six legal actions taken against the founder of the Workers Party (PT) in the Car Wash case. Kukina highlights that this information proves essential to confirm if the federal government was warned of the illegal collaboration with the FBI in the Car Wash case.
Furthermore, Lula's defense claims that the collaboration may implicate the FBI in helping the prosecutors to break the code to Odebrecht's bribery payment system. Also, the former president's legal representatives argue that there is suspicion that this happened without following the standard procedure as defined in international treaties.
Concerning this claim, the Justice Ministry denied Lula's lawyers access to this information under the pretext that these could not be shared as they are subject to confidentiality.
Nonetheless, Kurkina argued that it's legitimate for the defendants to directly solicit the relevant information for their defense strategy from public and private entities.
For lawyer Cristiano Zanin Martins, head of Lula's legal team, "this TSJ decision is very important."
"On the one hand, it recognizes the legitimate use of the defense research tactic we've opted for, and on the other hand, it may reveal that there was illicit cooperation between the Car Wash prosecutors and U.S. authorities in the cases involving ex-president Lula," he affirmed.