Case against former Brazilian president is failing


The immensely popular Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, son of sharecroppers, labor activist, and co-founder of the Partido dos Trabalhadores [PT], served as President of Brazil from 2003 through 201i.

He was succeeded by party ally Dilma Rousseff, who served until her impeachment in August in a legislative coup based on questionable corruption charges.

Winning Rousseff’s ouster, neoliberals in the national legislature then turned their guns on her more popular predecessor, and Lula was brought up on corruption charges.

But then a little problem arose.

From teleSUR English:

Every witness called on Friday by the prosecution in the case of alleged corruption against former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied any irregularities.

Judge Sergio Moro has accused Lula twice of being the mastermind behind the largest corruption scheme in the country’s history, involving the state-run Petrobras oil company.

“Prosecutors in the Car Wash investigation claim to have knowledge that Lula received bribes from a contractor for facilitating fraud in contracts in Petrobras, but none of the witnesses called by prosecutors themselves confirmed this thesis,” said a spokesperson of former President Lula.

Among the witnesses called today were former senators and businessmen in Brazil, who said they did not have any meetings or conversations with Lula over fraudulent processes and some of them flat out said they had nothing to say on the subject.

Even though Lula da Silva had been cleared of all charges, judicial authorities continue to attack the leftist politician and allege the former president directly benefited from an apartment in Guaruja and a farm in Atibaia, both in the state of Sao Paulo.

Lula has denied any wrongdoing and has previously said that his persecution is driven by political interests who want to destroy his candidacy for the election in 2018, as he has one of the highest approval ratings in the country.

Even though Lula da Silva had been cleared of all charges, judicial authorities continue to attack the leftist politician and allege the former president directly benefited from an apartment in Guaruja and a farm in Atibaia, both in the state of Sao Paulo.

Lula has denied any wrongdoing and has previously said that his persecution is driven by political interests who want to destroy his candidacy for the election in 2018, as he has one of the highest approval ratings in the country.

Corruption? Just consider his opponents

From Glenn Greenwald, a Braxilian resident, writing in the Intercept:

A primary argument made by opponents of impeaching Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was that removing her would immediately empower the truly corrupt politicians in Brasília — the ones who were the driving force behind her impeachment — and they would then use that power to kill ongoing corruption investigations and shield themselves from consequences for their own law-breaking. In that regard, Dilma’s impeachment was not designed to punish corruption but to protect it. The last two weeks have produced new corruption scandals that have vindicated that view beyond what even its proponents imagined was possible.

In his short time in office, Temer has already lost five ministers to scandal, but these new controversies are the most serious yet. One major scandal involves an effort in Congress — led by the very parties that impeached Dilma, with the support of some in Dilma’s party — to pass a law that vests themselves full legal amnesty for their crimes involving election financing. In late September, a bill appeared in Congress, seemingly out of nowhere, that would have retroactively protected any member of Congress from being punished for the use of so-called “caixa dois” monies in campaigns, whereby politicians receive under-the-table contributions from oligarchs and corporations that they do not declare.

Many of Brazil’s most powerful politicians — including its Foreign Minister, a majority of members of the lower House, and installed President Michel Temer himself — are implicated in this scheme and are thus threatened with the possibility of prosecution. “Caixa dois” has been a key tactic used to bribe politicians. The issue has taken on particular urgency because the imprisoned billionaire CEO of the nation’s construction giant Odebrecht, Marcelo Odebrecht, is about to finalize his plea agreement, and it will identify numerous key figures as having received millions of dollars in such undeclared donations.

It has already been reported that Temer’s Foreign Minister, José Serra, received R$ 23 million ($7 million) in such illegal funds from Odebrecht, much of which was deposited into a Swiss Bank account to avoid detection (those funds were for his losing 2010 presidential campaign against Dilma, showing how those who lost democratically and are mired in serious corruption are the ones who have now seized power due to Dilma’s impeachment).

Temer’s way-paver has already been arrested

And as the Guardian reported last month, Temer’s closest ally and the man who paved his path to power is already facing charges:

Eduardo Cunha, the Brazilian politician who orchestrated the impeachment of the country’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, has been arrested on corruption charges.

Federal police detained the former speaker of the lower house in Brasilia on Wednesday and executed a search warrant at his home in Rio de Janeiro.

Compared by some to Frank Underwood from House of Cards, Cunha also has been accused of taking up to 116.5m reais ($37m) in bribes as part of the Operation Car Wash investigation into mammoth corruption at state oil giant Petrobras.

The arrest was ordered by federal judge Sergio Moro, who has gained celebrity in Brazil by leading that probe, which has ensnared dozens of leading politicians.

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One response to “Case against former Brazilian president is failing

  1. Pingback: Yet another Brazilian government leader resigns | eats shoots 'n leaves

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