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  • Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at a political rally.

    Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at a political rally. | Photo: EFE

Published 17 September 2019
Opinion

Brazilian Federal Criminal Judge holds that the complaint against Lula da Silva does not have serious and credible probative support.

The Sao Paulo's 7th Federal Criminal Court Judge Ali Mazloum on Monday rejected the Federal Prosecutor's Office (MPF) complaint against Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his brother Jose Ferreira da Silva, both of whom were charged with receiving US$275,000 in alleged “allowances” from the Odebrecht engineering company.

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"There is no procedural presupposition or just cause for the opening of criminal proceedings," Judge Mazloum argues in his assessment of the MPF complaint.

"The accusation is inept. You don't need to have a keen sense of justice but only a little common sense to realize that the accusation is based on a jumble of interpretations and assumptions."

The MPF filed a complaint on September 9 in which it claimed that between 2003 and 2015, the oil unionist Frei Chico received about US$275,000 in monthly payments ranging from US$700 to US$1,200.

"In today's issue of L'Humanité: Lula is in prison because he embodies the idea that another Brazil is possible."

Supposedly, these monthly allowances were part of a package of “undue advantages” that the Odebrecht company offered to Lula da Silva, who was president of Brazil between 2003 and 2010, in exchange for obtaining public contracts.

Regarding the above, however, the Sao Paulo Federal Judge indicated that there is no evidence that Lula knew about his brother's allowances nor any evidence that such payments were related to his role as president of Brazil.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing, exists in the complaint in the sense that, since October 2002, after the elections, Lula had known or been consulted or asked, even if implicitly, about subsequent payments to her brother."

"The complaint does not even describe any conduct performed by the public servant which could be susceptible to subsumption to the criminal type.”

"Revelations made during the last 3 months or so have exposed the partisan role of the Car Wash. This operation hid recordings to prevent Lula from taking over as minister. Sergio Moro produced a scam to interfere with democracy and make a coup d'etat in Brazil."

The judge also explained that an accusation cannot be based on mere assumptions, which seems to steem from an arbitrary will.

"The complaint must have serious and credible probative support," Mazloum said.

Currently, Lula da Silva remains a political prisoner due to other accusations raised against him in the "Car Wash" Operation, a case led by former Judge Sergio Moro, who is now President Jair Bolsonaro’s Justice Minister.

Over the last few months, the Intercept Brazil has published private information which shows that accusations against the Worker’s Party leader were forged to prevent his participation in the 2018 presidential elections.

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