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  • Brazil's Justice Minister, Sergio Moro (left) with President Jair Bolsonaro.

    Brazil's Justice Minister, Sergio Moro (left) with President Jair Bolsonaro. | Photo: AFP

Published 2 May 2020
Opinion

On Thursday night, the STF gave Moro a period of five days to testify before the PF about his allegations against the far-right leader.

Brazil's former Justice Minister Sergio Moro testified Saturday before the Federal Police (PF) on allegations of political interference in the affairs of this institution made by President Jair Bolsonaro, who called him "Judas."

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The former Minister testified before the Superintendence of the Federal Police in Curitiba, Parana, where he arrived accompanied by his lawyers to testify not only if Bolsonaro tried to interfere with the work of the PF but also in investigations related to legal proceedings against his sons.

The hearing began at 2:00 p.m. (local time) with no time to finish, according to one of Moro’s defense lawyers.

The statement was determined by the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Celso de Mello, who chairs the investigation.

De Mello granted the request of the Attorney General of the Republic Augusto Aras, and accepted three attorneys appointed by the Prosecutor's Office to accompany the testimony of the former judge.

On Thursday night, the STF gave Moro a period of five days to testify before the PF about his allegations against the far-right leader.

The magistrate asked the former minister to present “a detailed statement on the terms of the order, with all the appropriate documentation he may have on the events in question.”

The testimony will inquire whether the crimes of ideological falsehood, coercion in the course of the process, administrative defense, prevarication, obstruction of justice, privileged passive corruption, slanderous accusation, and crimes against honor were committed.

If there is sufficient evidence to prove Moro’s accusations, the Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office may file a formal complaint against the president before the STF, removing him from office initially for 180 days, which would be the deadline for the trial.

If he was found guilty, he would be dismissed and replaced by Vice President Hamilton Mourao, a former military officer and defender of the dictatorship (1964 - 1985).

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro in his Facebook account called Moro "Judas" stating that he will not allow "anyone to pass over the Constitution" and insinuating that the former minister had interfered in order to prevent an investigation of the attack he suffered during the 2018 electoral campaign, in which he received a knife in the stomach.

"Has Judas, who will testify today, interfered so that no investigation will take place? I will not do anything that is not in accordance with the Constitution. But neither will I allow them to do anything against me and against our Brazil that goes beyond our Constitution," Bolsonaro wrote on Facebook.

During a recent interview with right-wing Veja magazine, Moro stated that he has evidence of the accusations he made against Bolsonaro.

“Further clarification will only be made in a timely manner when the court requests it,” he said.

Moro acquired a national and international reputation by commanding, between March 2014 and November 2018, the trial in the first instance of the crimes identified in the Lava Jato anti-corruption operation.

Without evidence, he sentenced former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2017 to nine years and six months in prison for alleged acts of corruption.

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