The Brazilian judge overseeing the investigation of a US$2 billion corruption scheme centered on state oil company Petrobras ruled Tuesday that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva must stand trial on charges arising from the probe.
Judge Sergio Mora said that federal prosecutors showed just cause to allow the charges against Lula, his wife, and six other defendants to go forward.
The prosecutors alleged that Lula received benefits totaling 3.7 million reais (roughly US$1.1 million) from OAS, one of the construction companies implicated in the Petrobras bribes-for-inflated contracts scandal.
The indictment says that OAS refurbished a luxury beachfront apartment Lula owned in the resort of Guaruja, near Sao Paulo, though the erstwhile president denies the residence is his.
”The probative elements are still questionable, but, in this preliminary phase, it is not required that the demonstration of criminal responsibility be conclusive, but rather that just cause (to proceed to trial) is shown, Moro wrote in his decision.
Lula insists that prosecutors have no evidence he owns the residence in Guaruja.
I'm at the full disposal of the serious people in the federal prosecutors' office, in the Federal Police and in the judiciary,” the 71-year-old politician said last week in a nearly one-hour speech following prosecutors' announcement of the charges.
Lula, who led Brazil from 2003-2011, remains the nation's most popular politician and is expected to be a candidate in the 2018 presidential election.
His successor and political protégé, Dilma Rousseff, was removed from office last month after the opposition-controlled Senate found her guilty of irregular budgetary manipulation.
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This drama really will be meaningful if ALL of the Political-Thieves not only rot in jail but are also made to return all of the stolen loot.Sep 21st, 2016 - 10:56 am 0
- either they go scot free
- or they escape with just a symbolic minor punishment
- or return a very small portion of the stolen amount
- remain politically active [directly / indirectly]
- and continue with their normal activities!
I suspect the judge is tempted by the 'consideration' that Lula would give him if he withdraws this 'statement'.Sep 21st, 2016 - 11:31 am 0
The political crooks are 100% capable of changing the laws and even the constitution - in their favor - just to make sure that they not only remain better protected in the future but they also can continue with their activities without any hindrance!Sep 21st, 2016 - 11:48 am 0