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Montevideo, February 21st 2019 - 16:02 UTC

Brazil in shock: Justice investigating country's major corruption dies in air crash

Friday, January 20th 2017 - 12:42 UTC
Full article 12 comments
 “He was a good man and a source of pride for all Brazilians,” Temer said, who declared three days of national mourning in Brazil for the death of the Justice “He was a good man and a source of pride for all Brazilians,” Temer said, who declared three days of national mourning in Brazil for the death of the Justice
Former President Dilma Rousseff, who appointed Zavascki to the Supreme Court in 2012, also issued a statement mourning his death. Former President Dilma Rousseff, who appointed Zavascki to the Supreme Court in 2012, also issued a statement mourning his death.
Sergio Moro, the Curitiba judge, issued a statement after the crash saying he was “perplexed” and calling Zavascki a “Brazilian hero.” Sergio Moro, the Curitiba judge, issued a statement after the crash saying he was “perplexed” and calling Zavascki a “Brazilian hero.”

Brazil's President Michel Temer on Thursday evening made an official statement to mourn the death of Supreme Court judge Teori Zavascki, who was killed earlier in the day in a plane crash. Temer declared three days of national mourning in Brazil for the death of the Justice, who was in charge of the court's investigation into a wide-ranging corruption scandal.

 “He was a good man and a source of pride for all Brazilians,” Temer said. “I join all Brazilians to regret the passing of a public man distinguished by his impeccable trajectory in defense of the law and justice,” he added.

Former President Dilma Rousseff, who appointed Zavascki to the Supreme Court in 2012, also issued a statement mourning his death.

“Today we lost a great Brazilian. As a judge and a citizen, Teori was an intellectual of the law and a man who cared for justice,” Rousseff said.

Other ex-presidents Jose Sarney and Lula da Silva also voiced their grief.

Brazilian media reports said Zavascki had received threats in the past year, one of them he confirmed last June as linked with his investigating of a corruption scheme involving government contracts with the private sector, especially Brazil's oil giant Petrobras.

His death in the Thursday plane crash came several days after media reported he was about to admit key testimonies implicating high-profile politicians.

At least three people were killed out of the four aboard the plane flying from Sao Paulo to Paraty, about 260 km west of the city of Rio, according to Brazilian media. The plane crashed into the sea during poor weather conditions shortly before reaching Paraty.

“Justice Teori Zavascki had been strongly driving the #Carwash investigation in the Supreme Court. It's hard to believe this was a mere accident,” tweeted Alan Mansur, director of the National Association of Prosecutors.

Federal police said late Thursday that they were launching an investigation.

Authorities said Thursday night that three bodies had been recovered so far. The other dead men were identified as businessman Carlos Alberto Filgueiras and pilot Osmar Rodrigues. The identities of the remaining two were not released.

While the largest corruption probe in Brazil's history has been led by a team of prosecutors and Judge Sergio Moro in the southern city of Curitiba, Zavascki handled cases involving politicians. Under Brazilian law, only the Supreme Court can decide to charge or jail federal politicians.

Most recently, Zavascki had been reviewing the dozens of plea bargains of former and current executives of the big Odebrecht construction company, which was one of the main players in the kickback scheme at Petrobras that investigators allege involved more than US$2 billion in bribes over a decade. Over the last two years, dozens of politicians and businessmen have been jailed in the sprawling probe.

Sergio Moro, the Curitiba judge, issued a statement after the crash saying he was “perplexed” and calling Zavascki a “Brazilian hero.”

“Without him, we would not have had the Carwash operation,” Moro wrote. “I hope that his legacy, of serenity and firmness in law enforcement, regardless of the powerful interests involved, is not forgotten”.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Marti Llazo

    Obviously a suicide.

    I hear that some of CFK's “investigators” are being sent to pollute the crime scene.

    Jan 20th, 2017 - 01:51 pm +1
  • Briton

    dies in air crash
    Conspiracy perhaps.

    Jan 20th, 2017 - 08:46 pm +1
  • :o))

    The End of the “Investigations & Operations”?

    Jan 21st, 2017 - 11:29 am 0
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