Defendant says Lula da Silva was the ring leader of the Brazilian congress bribes scandal
The defence of one of the main accused at Brazil’s “trial of the century” claimed at a hearing before the Supreme Tribunal (Supreme court) that former president Lula da Silva (2003/2010) was who ordered the bribes scheme to buy votes in Congress.
The solicitor defending former lawmaker Roberto Jefferson, president of the Brazilian Labour party, an ally of the current coalition of President Dilma Rousseff stated that Lula da Silva was not only aware of the scheme to buy support in Congress “but was who ordered those payments during his first mandate (2003/2007)”:
“Not only was he aware, it was him who ordered the agreements of the criminal case which is currently discusses. Those (defendant) ministers were mere executioners of his instructions” said solicitor Luiz Correa Barbosa before Brazil’s highest court.
Jefferson who at the time was also part of the coalition supporting the government of President Lula da Silva revealed in 2005 the existence of a network of corruption to buy votes in Congress and named the scheme ‘mensalao’, which means in simple words that members of the Lower House received a monthly payment to support legislation presented by the Lula da Silva administration.
Lula da Silva is sufficiently intelligent as not to ignore what was going on and the three ministers implicated were but mere auxiliaries in the scheme argued Correa Barbosa.
“The auxiliaries only followed orders from the boss and left the boss out of the case when it all blew up. They left him out, but not really the lawmakers but the Attorney General of the time …why did he do so? The prosecution will have to give the reasons”, said the defence lawyer.
According to Correa Barbosa, his client Jefferson reported to Lula da Silva what was happening inside the ruling Workers Party, to ensure support from Congress.
“Jefferson then reports to public opinion that the president acted surprised, that feeling betrayed he even wept a bit and obviously promised to take measures” according to the defence of the former lawmaker.
Jefferson is one of 38 defendants on trial, one of the major corruption scandals in recent Brazilian history and he faces charges of money laundering and active corruption, which the defence has denied before the Federal Supreme Tribunal.