Supreme Tribunal rejects request to include Lula da Silva in the corruption scheme
Brazil Federal Supreme Tribunal denied on Wednesday a request to include former president Lula da Silva in the so-called “trial of the century” involving 38 former ministers and lawmakers accused of an extended bribes scheme.
“The request for the Federal Supreme Tribunal to charge the former president is from a juridical point of view impossible” said magistrate Joaquim Barosa and case rapporteur.
Lula da Silva was accused on Monday by the defence of former lawmaker Roberto Jefferson, one of the 38, and who triggered the scandal back in 2005, of ordering the bribes scheme to have his administration’s legislation approved by Congress. This happened during the former president’s first mandate (2003/07).
“Not only he knew about it” but “he instructed those agreements that this criminal case is discussing”, said defence solicitor Luiz Correa Barbosa. However the magistrates threw out the request to include Lula da Silva recalling that the Prosecution had already analyzed the issue and decided to keep him out of the documents.
“Prosecution is responsible for presenting the charges, so even if we wanted we could not impose on the Attorney General of the Republic the inclusion of someone in the list of defendants”, said Supreme Tribunal magistrate Ricardo Lewandowski.
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 solicitor 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.
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.
Lula da Silva who kept a clear distance from the trial that involves former leading personalities of his Workers Party in office for almost ten years always denied knowledge of the plan and how the scheme worked. He always stated publicly that he had been betrayed by his advisors and publicly apologized at the time for all that had happened.