[News] Politics, Lack of Evidence Behind Lula Trial

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Mon Jun 10 11:54:52 EDT 2019


https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Politics-Lack-of-Evidence-Behind-Lula-Trial-Intercept-Expose-20190609-0014.html 



  Politics, Lack of Evidence Behind Lula Trial: Intercept Expose

June 9, 2019

/*Intercept posts:*//*
*//*https://theintercept.com/2019/06/09/brazil-archive-operation-car-wash/*//*
*//*https://theintercept.com/2019/06/09/brazil-car-wash-prosecutors-workers-party-lula/*//*
*//*https://theintercept.com/2019/06/09/brazil-lula-operation-car-wash-sergio-moro/*/

------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Sunday, Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept Brazil published an extensive 
and hard-hitting expose on the alleged political motivations behind 
Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato) task force against former president Luiz 
Inacio Lula 
<https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Brazils-Judge-Gives-Lula-9-Years-Over-Lava-Jato-Case-20170712-0028.html> 
da Silva and the Worker’s Party (PT), as well as the unethical 
involvement of current Minister of Justice, Sergio Moro.

The documents were released in a three-part series where according to 
The Intercept, it is proven, based on leaked documents and Telegram 
messages between prosecutors and Moro the “apolitical” and “unbiased” 
team spent hours internally plotting how to prevent the return to power 
by Lula and his Workers’ Party.

“These stories are based on a massive archive of previously undisclosed 
materials — including private chats, audio recordings, videos, photos, 
court proceedings, and other documentation — provided to us by an 
anonymous source. They reveal serious wrongdoing, unethical behavior, 
and systematic deceit about which the public, both in Brazil and 
internationally, has the right to know,” the journalists stated.

On the first article, The Intercept argues with evidence, that despite 
being portrayed in Brazil and around the world as apolitical and 
concerned solely with fighting corruption, the Car Wash prosecutors 
“plotted to prevent the Workers’ Party (PT) from winning the 2018 
presidential election by blocking or weakening a pre-election interview.”

On Sept. 28, 2018, after Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski 
authorized that the then jailed Lula could give interviews as part of 
free speech rights, one of the prosecutors, Laura Tessler, warned in the 
chat room that “a press conference before the second round of voting 
could help elect Haddad,” referring to PT’s presidential candidate 
Fernando Haddad.

While the chief of the prosecutor task force, Deltan Dallagnol, said 
that they should “pray” so that the PT doesn’t return to power. In a 
series of ongoing conversations, the prosecutors, including Dallagnol, 
actively strategized on how to undermine the possible effect of the 
interviews or how to even stop them from happening.

Things take on a more complicated turn on the second article, in which 
The Intercept accuses current Minister of Justice, and then-presiding 
judge Sergio Moro offered strategic advice to prosecutors, passed on 
tips for new avenues of investigation, and weighed in on the trial in 
secrecy and outside the courtroom.

“Over the course of more than two years, Moro suggested to the 
prosecutor that his team change the sequence of who they would 
investigate; insisted on less downtime between raids; gave strategic 
advice and informal tips; provided the prosecutors with advance 
knowledge of his decisions; offered constructive criticism of 
prosecutorial filings; and even scolded Dallagnol as if the prosecutor 
worked for the judge,” the report reads.

These sort of conduct, if true, is unethical for a judge, who is 
responsible for maintaining neutrality to guarantee a fair trial, and it 
violates the Judiciary’s Code of Ethics for Brazil. Yet these are not 
new accusations, as Lula’s defense teams have stated Moro’s questionable 
involvement since the begin of the probe.

"Judge Moro made his bias and political motivation clear from the 
beginning to the end of the process," Lula's legal defense team said 
back in July 2017, adding that “his judgment has shamed Brazil by 
ignoring overwhelming evidence of innocence and succumbing to political 
bias whilst overseeing continual breaches of basic human rights and the 
legal process.”

Moro ruled against Lula and rendered him ineligible to run in the 2018 
presidential election at a time when all polls showed that the former 
president was the clear frontrunner. This gave far-right Jair Bolsonaro 
a strong lead that resulted in his presidency win.

Bolsonaro then, according to many, “rewarded” Moro by creating an 
unprecedented powerful position now called the “super justice minister”, 
which has complete control over all the judicial branch, policing and 
social control in Brazilian society.

Finally, the report concludes with the fact that while publicly boasting 
about the strength of the evidence against Lula, internally the Car Wash 
task force doubted on the lack of hard evidence and the case built 
against the former president.

“They will say that we are accusing based on newspaper articles and 
fragile evidence … so it’d be good if this item is wrapped up tight. 
Apart from this item, so far I am apprehensive about the connection 
between Petrobras and enrichment, and after they told me I am 
apprehensive about the apartment story,” wrote Dallagnol in a group 
Telegram chat with his colleagues on September 9, 2016, four days before 
filing their indictment against Lula.

Lula’s trial was built on the accusation that he received about US$1.15 
million in bribes. According to the Attorney General's Office, the 
amount would have been passed on through an luxury apartment and a 
payment for the storage of the company's assets between 2011 and 2016, 
as gifts received when he was president.

Valeska Texeira Zanin Martin, a lead lawyer in Lula's defense team, said 
evidence "definitely proves that Lula could not have been given a 
bribe." The lawyer argued that bank and real estate records proved 
Lula's innocence.

The three-story beach apartment couldn't have been given to Lula as a 
bribe, as prosecutors alleged because it is registered in the name of 
the company OAS with financial rights in a federal bank account. Zanin 
Martin said that if the company sold the apartment, the money trail 
would have to appear in the federal bank transactions, where records 
prove that Lula did not acquire the property.

Yet as ‘proof’ in an internationally mocked and criticized trial, 
Dallagnol presented a PowerPoint slide filled with typos that had Lula’s 
name in the middle and alleged crimes circled and pointing to his name. 
No documentation or hard evidence was ever produced against the PT’s 
leader.

On Sunday night, Justice Minister Moro responded to the Intercept 
investigation saying that he "laments the lack of indication of the 
source", yet does not deny any accusation. Moreover, Moro defends that 
"there is no sign of any abnormality or providing directions as a 
magistrate, despite being taken out of context..." Meanwhile, the Car 
Wash task force did not refute the authenticity of the information 
published by The Intercept.

-- 
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