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News > Latin America

Judges Involved in 'Lawfare' in Lula's Release Case Probed

  • Judge Sergio Moro takes part in corruption forum in Sao Paolo, October 24, 2017.

    Judge Sergio Moro takes part in corruption forum in Sao Paolo, October 24, 2017. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 July 2018

Brazil's National Justice Council opened investigations into the judges involved in Saturda's legal battle for the release of the ex-president.

The three judges involved in Sunday's legal battle to free or keep in prison the ex-President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are being investigated for their actions after several complaints were filed against them.


Brazil: PT Slams 'Lawfare' Against Lula, Weighs Legal Actions

“The national justice chief magistrate Joao Otavio de Noronha opened an investigation to review the acts of Judge Rogerio Favreto and Judge Pedro Gebran Neto, both from the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region (TRF-4), and Judge Sergio Moro,” the National Justice Council (CNJ) informed in a press release.

The CNJ declared it received eight investigation requests for Favreto coming from pro-government prosecutors and right-wing parties, and two for Moro coming from Lula's sympathizers. The investigation will begin immediately.

Favreto, who was on duty at the TRF-4 on Sunday, accepted a habeas corpus request and demanded immediate freedom for Lula. The request had already been denied by the same tribunal, but Favreto argued that the pre-candidacy of Lula constituted a new element in the case and decided to grant it on grounds of his right to attend debates and campaign events.

The ruling started a 10-hour-long 'lawfare' that was finally settled when the president of the TRF-4 Carlos Eduardo Thompson Flores ruled in favor of Judge Gebran Neto, who rejected Favreto's decision.

TeleSUR's correspondent in Brazil Andre Vieira reported that the complaint against the trial Judge Moro was filed by the Association of Lawyers for Democracy at the CNJ due disrespecting the legal order by denying to comply with an order coming from an appeal court. 

"Here in Brazil protests in defense of ex-Presidnet Lula da Silva are intensifying. By next July 28 we're expecting the Free Lula Festival in Rio de Janeiro, in which artists from Brazil and the rest of Latin America will be present," Vieira said in his latest report from Brazil. 

“The first instance Judge Sergio Moro, who ruled a sentence from his vacations in Europe against the sentence of the second instance Judge Rogerio Favreto, who ordered the release of Lula da Silva, was denounced at the National Justice Council.”

"Besides this cultural act in Rio de Janeiro, we're also expecting marches in the whole country, which will conclude next August 15 in Brasilia, where the PT, Lula and Dilma Rouseff's party, will officially register Lula da Silva for the presidential elections. Here in Curitiba the Free Lula vigil continues, which comes to its 96 day in resistance and telling the world that Lula da Silva is a political prisoner,” teleSUR's reporter added. 

The complaint by Lawyers for Democracy also includes accusations against Roberbal Drex, director of the Federal Police in Curitiba, who ignored Favreto's decision to release Lula.

Also, social organizations and sympathizers of Lula blamed Moro for his politically motivated actions against the former president and the country's left, as prosecutors and judges don't act in the same way against the crimes of the political right.

Lula's Workers' Party (PT), denounced Moro and Gebran Neto for exceeding their authority by rejecting Favreto's decision and slammed the police for ignoring it.

“Moro, Thompson, Gebran and the delegates on duty at the Federal Police in Curitiba are all accomplices in the same violence against the rights of Lula, against democracy and against the freedom of the people to vote for who best represents them in the October presidential elections,” said Gleisi Hoffmann, Senator and president of the PT Tuesday. 

Opponents of Favreto have accused him of “judicial activism,” saying he “blatantly violated the tribunal's principles and, therefore, the legal order and the democratic rule of law.” His critics argue that Favreto's decision was politically motivated, as he was a member of the Workers' Party (PT) between 1991 and 2010, even holding several positions during Lula's administration.

According to prosecutors, Lula's pre-candidacy was already known even before his arrest order and there are no new circumstances to take into consideration.

The CNJ is tasked with looking after the independence of the judicial branch. Its investigation against the judges could lead to administrative sanctions or even a forceful early retirement.

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