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News > Brazil

Former President Lula Reaches 500 Days as Political Prisoner

  • Brazilians holding a sing that reads ‘Lula Political Prisoner’, Brazil, August 20, 2019.

    Brazilians holding a sing that reads ‘Lula Political Prisoner’, Brazil, August 20, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @uczai

Published 20 August 2019

Brazilian human rights defenders, social leaders and progressive politicians have demanded the immediate release of former President Lula da Silva.

The top leaders of the Workers' Party (PT), the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), the Communist Party (PCdoB) and the Landless Workers' Movement (MST) stated that Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will reach 500 days as a political prisoner at the Curitiba Federal Prison.


Brazil: New Leaked Conversation Proves Further Conspiracy Against Lula

"Convictions against Lula are legal aberrations which are based on frivolous accusations and negotiated accusations with defendants who have repeatedly altered their testimony, bowing under pressure from prosecutors and eager to recover their freedom and properties," states a press released signed by Gleisi Hoffmann (PT), Juliano Medeiros (PSOL), Luciana Santos (PCdoB) and Joao Paulo Rodrigues (MST).

In 2014, Brazilian authorities began investigating money laundering operations which involved car wash services. Sergio Moro, a federal judge hitherto unknown, handled then what became known as the "Car Wash" operation, a case which involved Odebrech, the biggest South American private construction company.

In 2016, Lula was accused of owning a three-story beach apartment to which improvements would have been made using money from Odebrech.

Later, in April 2018, the Worker's Party leader was arrested in a manipulated judicial process. He was convicted to over 12 years in jail for alleged money laundering and prevented from holding a public office for almost 26 years.

500 days of injustice: Lula's arrest, which was unfair and lacked evidence, reaches 500 days. We will not be silent for a day in the face of this absurdity, which harms all Brazilians. #Free Lula

The far-right backed lawfare against Lula seemed fully consolidated until June 2019. The Intercept, an international investigative media, disclosed Telegram chats showing collusion between Brazilian authorities to imprison Lula.

June 10

The U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald published dialogues between prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol and former judge Sergio Moro, who in 2017 sentenced Lula da Silva in the first instance to nine years and six months in prison for allegedly receiving a beach apartment in Sao Paulo.

June 12

Leaked messages from procurador Deltan Dallagnol confirmed the support of Supreme Federal Court judge Luiz Fux to the Car Wash operation.

June 19

During a hearing at the Brazilian Federal Senate, Justice Minister Moro contradicts himself about the truth of The Intercept leaks.

While he admitted that messages are real, he also said messages are part of a "digital crime" commanded by hackers who might have altered their content.

Neither Moro nor Dallagnol agreed to hand over their cell phones for further, independent investigations.

June 30

At two private chats the Car Wash prosecutors admited that there were not enough evidences in the criminal complaint against Lula, which was based on a delation from Leo Pinheiro, the Odebrech company former director. Later, this executive stated to the media that he was coerced into creating a narrative involving Lula.

July 5

Messages reveal that Moro, who was responsible for prosecuting the case against Lula and condemning him in the first instance, had delivered to the Public Ministry the names of the witnesses to whom the prosecutors should offer deals in exchange for their testimonies. Also Moro suggested changes in the text of the complaint against Lula.

July 21

In another private chat prosecutors acknowledge that Moro, who was then interested in being appointed as Justice Minister and later as Supreme Federal Court judge, did not authorize investigations against the Bolsonaro's son.

August 19

New private messages exchanged among the Car Wash prosecutors were released and gave more evidence that former President Lula was "victim of a conspiracy."

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