Thursday, December 20th 2012 - 05:38 UTC

Brazil to investigate corruption allegations involving Lula da Silva

Brazil’s Attorney General said the country’s judiciary will investigate allegations that former President Lula da Silva took part in the cash-for-votes scheme that toppled several of his closest aides.

The former president called the accusations “a lie”

Last month, the Supreme Court handed down lengthy prison terms to several top Lula da Silva aides for their role in the so-called “mensalao” scandal, or the “big monthly payments” paid to lawmakers to vote with the government between 2003 and 2005.

The main conduit in the scheme, advertising executive Marcos Valerio, said in sworn testimony in September that he twice transferred funds for Lula da Silva’s personal expenses. The former president in Paris last week when the testimony was leaked to the media, called the accusations “a lie.”

“Valerio often makes reference to declarations that he considers bombastic and, when we investigate them in depth, that’s not the case,” Attorney General Roberto Gurgel told reporters in Brasilia on Wednesday. “But we are going to see what there is in the testimony that could prompt future investigations.”

While Lula da Silva’s former cabinet chief and one-time head of his Workers’ Party were convicted by the Supreme Court in the recent trial, the former president has so far remained above the fray. When the scandal broke in 2005, Lula da Silva went on national television to say he had been betrayed by his aides and had no knowledge of their wrongdoing.

A year later, after being re-elected, he blamed the opposition for inventing the charges in a bid to topple his government.

Gurgel said that Lula da Silva lost his immunity to prosecution when he left office in 2011 and that it would be up to a prosecutor in a lower level court to investigate the case.

“I repudiate all attempts -- and this would not be the first -- to take away the immense respect the Brazilian people have for” Lula, President Dilma Rousseff told reporters in Paris last week.

In the wake of the latest accusations, the Social Democracy Party, or PSDB, Brazil’s biggest opposition party, asked federal prosecutors to open an investigation into Lula da Silva’s involvement and want Valerio to testify in Congress.

28 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 ChrisR (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 10:14 am Report abuse
Well he is either lying through his teeth or he is incompetent in the extreme by not tackling the matter.

His choice: abject liar or simpleton?
2 Fbear (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 11:43 am Report abuse
The right wing media in this country, controlled by the elite, who stand to lose most, will stoop to anything to reverse the progress made by Lula and Dilma. I even think these muckrakers actually are convinced that the average brasileiro will be easily taken in with their lie that the opposition would NEVER participate in corruption. Even the jewish=owned Globo media are trying to have the World Social Forum removed from Porto Alegre because it will make an official statement supporting a Palestinian State. Typical ploys, one and all: Hear something you don't like? Can't face the truth? Suppress what you don't like and invent a different storyor start a rumor and give it a life of its own.. Such abuses of a free press are reprehensible and they will one day backfire big time.
3 ChrisR (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:16 pm Report abuse
@2 So are you saying this is lies, because I do not understand your somewhat rambling post.
4 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 02:47 pm Report abuse
The Controlling Mind

” ... in order for the company to be guilty of the offence, it is also necessary for a senior individual who could be said to embody the company (also known as a 'controlling mind') to be guilty of the offence.”

So for culpability in corporations where their actions have resulted in manslaughter/homicide, there is deemed to be a 'controlling mind'. This individual is normally the one in charge - a CEO, a President - and the one on whose desk 'the buck stops' (to quote an honest President).

There is little doubt that the years of institutionally corrupting Brasil happened on President Lula da Silva's watch.

... Unless there is a Rasputin that we have not yet heard about, Lula da Silva HAS BEEN corrupt Brasil's 'Controlling Mind' .

The buck stops here.
5 ChrisR (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:16 pm Report abuse
@4 Couldn't agree more.

It seems to me though that many of these controlling minds are half-wits at best. :o)
6 Fbear (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:55 pm Report abuse
@3 Not saying it is a lie, just that the investigation is being fuerthwred by the right wing press. which will strop at nothing to discredit the Lula/Dilma accomplishments. There is likely some corruption to be found, but when the accusers and those whom they shill for have unclean hands, their motive is always highly questionable. BTW If you didn;t like my unedited comments, remember that they were not submitted for your editorial critique.
7 ChrisR (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 06:58 pm Report abuse
6 Fbear

“BTW If you didn;t (SIC) like my unedited comments, remember that they were not submitted for your editorial critique.”

So why do you bother posting comments if you do not want people to read them?

I was hoping to understand just what you were trying to say but your layout and lack of brevity managed to defeat me.

But not to worry, next time I see your tag I will just ignore it, safe in the knowledge that I am probably not going to be able to disseminate anything of value from it.
8 Brasileiro (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 08:36 pm Report abuse
Toda a corrupção é crime, a palavra por si só diz tudo. Porém, o que Lula fez era e é lugar comum nas nossas transviadas vidas cidadãs, onde o clientelismo impera. Onde se era e é preciso bajular e manter relações de interesse duvidoso com mafiosos políticos, talvez até traficantes. Em minha opinião, se Lula agiu contra os interesses da cidadania, ele deve pagar o preço do que fez. Nem mais, nem menos. Mas o Direito é prova e prazo. Vamos ver se o Poder Moderador (Ministério Público) é atuante!
“ Lula was a great president. He developed our citizen sense. But crime is crime. The Public Ministery have much job to proof!”
9 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 09:36 pm Report abuse
you make good, balanced comments.

I think things will improve greatly if our Brasilian people believe that change can come.
To have pride in an honest people, an honest Government, honest police, honest judges, and honest public officials is a great thing.
I believe Dilma is leading a new way. She deserves support.
However, if she is ever found in the future to be as corrupt as her predecessor, I will be the first to call for her removal from office with whatever jail sentence she deserves.
10 Brasileiro (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 10:03 pm Report abuse for me, for my country. I fight for him.
Write in englisee is very complicated. Portuguese is easy! haha
11 Terence Hill (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 11:06 pm Report abuse
1 ChrisR

What a perfect example of a fallacy.
Black-or-White Fallacy


Black-and-White Fallacy
Either/Or Fallacy
False Dilemma
Type: Informal Fallacy

Gerda Reith is convinced that superstition can be a positive force. “It gives you a sense of control by making you think you can work out what's going to happen next,” she says. “And it also makes you feel lucky. And to take a risk or to enter into a chancy situation, you really have to believe in your own luck. In that sense, it's a very useful way of thinking, because the alternative is fatalism, which is to say, 'Oh, there's nothing I can do.' At least superstition makes people do things.”

I hope your not British because they're supposed to believe in 'fair play' i.e. presumption of innocence.

4 GeoffWard2

I believe in civil liability the term is 'the master is responsible for the servant'
But any investigation of this matter would be be under the Criminal Code. There for I must respectfully disagree as Lula da Silva should be afforded the presumption of innocence.
12 Brasileiro (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 12:04 am Report abuse
For the Glory to South American Empire
13 ChrisR (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 11:36 am Report abuse
11 Terence Hill

I am British and I understand law, having lectures at degree level on 'Contract Law in the Construction Industry of England and Wales' (Scotland has it's own way of dealing with contract law).

Which bit of my post @1 did you not understand. 4 GeoffWard2 also put the 'controlling mind' concept over very succintly.

ANY person in charge, whether it be a whelk stall or a country is responsible for everything relating to their function.

SO, if he wasn't corrupt, then as the head of the country, he should have KNOWN what was going on and dealt with it.

Either way he is responsible:
“Well he is either lying through his teeth or he is incompetent in the extreme by not tackling the matter.
His choice: abject liar or simpleton?”

Do you understand now?

My OPINION, given that one of his close associates has sworn that Lula did KNOWINGLY receive graft monies, is that he most probably is corrupt.
14 Terence Hill (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 12:58 pm Report abuse
Yes this law is enacted and the legal term “controlling mind” is used in the UK jurisdiction. When I was researching UK law a number of years ago I never ran into the term so I presume it is of fairly recent development. I noticed one other reference to it in a breach of contract case.

But having said that, this is only germane to the UK.

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

Corporate Culpability

But you are still making a and/or argument which is a logical fallacy, and condemning a person unheard. Which violates the principle of 'presumption of innocence', and the British sense of fair play.
15 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 05:06 pm Report abuse

it is certainly possible that the compounded millions of corruptions, small, medium, big and gigantic, were institutionalised into all aspects of life and society, business and industry, import and export, all without the knowledge of the President.

It's possible that his family's fortunes were arrived at through innocent hard work, not nepotism; and that his personal fortune and assets were simply the nett accumulations of his salary.

It's possible that his convicted and unconvicted ministers and the thousands of implicated public servants, state and private companies, and the people that run them, all of them were corrupt and/or became corrupted without the knowledge of the President.

It is possible that Lula the President was the only honest person in the Government ... that he was the saint amongst a nation of millions that, perforce, became corrupt and corrupted because that became the only way to survive in a country in which ALL aspects of society became sucked into the morrasse of state corruption which blossomed during his two terms as President.

But, like Jimmy Saville, if everybody chose to 'look the other way' because he was 'a National Institution', one has to say .....
if it looks like it, smells like it,... tastes like it ... then it probably is it.
16 Terence Hill (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 05:56 pm Report abuse
The accusation against Lula is made by Marcos Valerio. “Valerio often makes reference to declarations that he considers bombastic and, when we investigate them in depth, that’s not the case,” Attorney General Roberto Gurgel told reporters in Brasilia on Wednesday. As a resident of Brazil for a number of years, I would be extremely surprised if he was involved personally in any graft.

If you look at the people who diametrically apposed to him then that would be a given. During his tenor he has probably done more for the benefit of his fellow citizens than any previous President. What “millions of corruptions,” are talking about? You have to be specific, not talking in vague generalities.
Nor am I aware of any great personal wealth accumulated by him. Nor do I have any particular political bias that would engender to his party.

But if you look at the the unspeakable suffering the poorest of Brazilians previous to his Presidency. The out-and-out theft of public resources and the murder of anyone who stood up to these bandits. My money is on his legacy, and the good that he has imparted to his fellow citizens.

His government has created more universities than any other before. It also raised the standard of living for a huge number of marginalized people. His government was also responsible in raising Brazil to first world status. Not typical behavior of someone who is corrupt. I am not going to say his government was perfect. But with him and his successor, any hint of impropriety and those people where gone.
17 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 06:23 pm Report abuse
“ ...But with him and his successor, any hint of impropriety and those people where gone.”

Oh, you must be JOKING!
You obviously spent all those years in Brasil unable to understand the TV and radio news or unable to read the papers and news magazines.

Have you ever heard of the Ficha Limpa?
Do you know what the street marches of people carrying brooms were all about?

Oh, come on, get real!
18 Terence Hill (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 06:39 pm Report abuse
I'm not making the claim that his government was everybody's first choice.
But there hasn't been any large scale public demonstrations in the time of my residencies in Brasilia or São Paulo. Not exactly areas that are below the radar. Just in case I had missed something, I checked with my wife, who is an award winning journalist. She agrees too. that there has been no large scale demonstrations that you claim.
19 LightThink (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 07:03 pm Report abuse
The investigation corruption together with Lula means that this is distraction tactic will arrive nowhere.
20 ChrisR (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 07:22 pm Report abuse
18 Terence Hill

Ficha Limpa “Clean Slate”

It seems this guy should be running the country?
21 LightThink (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 08:29 pm Report abuse
Petit Beurre..
22 Terence Hill (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 08:49 pm Report abuse
19 LightThink

Right name, little long on wind, absolutely short on proof.

20 ChrisR

The only corruption scan that has surfaced within the rule of the present government was in the Ministry of Tourism. Which was promptly taken care of. I don't recall any more on their watch. What exactly is point your trying to make? It was Biscaia a member of the same political party that Lula help found that instigated a new law in the Brazilian Congress, known as Ficha Limpa.
23 ChrisR (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 05:08 pm Report abuse
22 Terence Hill

I am fully aware of the fact that Biscaia was in the same party as Lula.

As Biscaia clearly knew the problem, the point which I have been trying to get over to you with no success whatsoever is simply this: why did Lula NOT KNOW?

If he did not know then he failed the country because of incompetence.

If he knew and did NOTHING, then he failed the country by being complicit with the corruption.

In other words he cannot win!
24 Terence Hill (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 06:05 pm Report abuse
23 ChrisR

Your point again a fallacy. If he he didn't know then he should have, or he is guilty of being of being part of the conspiracy. Well, you bear the burden of proof, simply asserting is not a sufficiency enough on the balance of possibilities; yet alone guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ignoring the Burden of Proof:
Generally speaking, he who asserts must prove. An assertion is a statement offered as a conclusion without supporting evidence. Since an argument is defined as a logical relationship between premise and conclusion, a simple assertion is not an argument.
25 ChrisR (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 09:28 pm Report abuse
24 Terence Hill

You claim to be a lawyer yet you do not understand logic.

I bet you do not practice criminal law, if you actually practice law yet.

There is no need for me to present any proof the concept is logical, whether you can see it or not.

If he didn’t know about the corruption, genuinely didn’t know, what the hell was he doing being the President? Shuffling chairs around the conference table? Did he never speak to anyone, read the papers or wonder how his best friends were getting rich, how he was getting all the votes?

Your claims lack the fundamental logic that QC’s in England learn on the Bar Course before they are even allowed to offer opinions because opinions are based on evidence, the current law and LOGIC.

I can now understand why the law in SA is completely disregarded.

This will be my last post; I just cannot stand the boredom of trying to get the universal concept of logic into your head.
26 Terence Hill (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 10:16 pm Report abuse
25 ChrisR

I have NEVER EVER claimed to be a lawyer, nothing in my posts states this, this an invention of your imagination. No your concept is not entirely logical, because its based on a couple of fallacies. Mainly its based on your not so humble opinion. I don't think your in position to judge anybodies competency on any subject. Since you can't even grasp what a fallacy is, you wouldn't even pass Logic 101. So how are you going to understand deductive or inductive logic. No, you can just muddle along with this large remit of prejudges that pass for logic in your distorted little world. Then to cap it all, you commit a third fallacy. That of argumentum ad hominem, the fallacy of a personal attack. Nice going, King of the Fallacies.
27 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 02:19 pm Report abuse
Hope he clears his name. But paradoxically if he turns out to be guilty, you could argue that its a result of his decision to work within the system (which has been a corrupted one for decades under the right!) rather than go the whole hog like Chavez...

#15 You plonker, even taken at its worst, if all the allegations are true, Lula is NOTHING like the paedophile Saville!
28 ChrisR (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 03:54 pm Report abuse

You owe Geoff an apology: you are the plonker.

Geoff NEVER accused Lula of being a paedophile. All he said, quite rightly is that a lot of people may have KNOWN Saville was doing these things but because of whom he was, said nothing.

Have you been in hospital while you were absent because you are acting even more stupidly than you usually do?

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!