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Montevideo, April 24th 2024 - 09:34 UTC



Lula's imprisonment “a big mistake” rules Brazil's STF

Thursday, September 7th 2023 - 10:35 UTC
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“I was surprised by the authorities who abused their functions,” Toffoli said “I was surprised by the authorities who abused their functions,” Toffoli said

Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (STF) ruled Wednesday that the evidence gathered in the Lava Jato case against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva must be suppressed because it was obtained illegally by then-judge Sergio Moro. The STF also said that the current president's imprisonment in that case was a mistake.

The South American country's highest court maintained that the proof stemming from a collaboration agreement with the Odebrecht company was obtained “illegally” and by “heterodox means” by Moro and the prosecutors in the Lava Jato case.

“Lula's arrest was the real snake egg of the attacks on democracy and institutions that was already foreshadowed in the actions and voices of these agents against the institutions and the Supreme Federal Court itself,” argued Justice Antonio Dias Toffoli.

He also said that the alleged confessions were the result of “psychological torture” to obtain false evidence against innocent people. Toffoli also explained that Moro and the prosecutors had been biased and outside their sphere of competence, which left “physical and mental sequels” to defendants and witnesses, destroying “national public and private assets” and even “taking lives.”

Thus, he invalidated the evidence submitted in the “bribery systems” presented by Odebrecht to corrupt politicians, to finance their electoral campaigns and eventually win public bids. The company undertook to disclose illicit conduct and to cease the practices with the payment of fines in Brazil, Switzerland, and the United States, and its then president, Marcelo Odebrecht, was arrested.

As per Toffoli's ruling, the 2017 agreements with the witnesses and defendants must now return to the lower court for review. Toffoli also likened what happened to tortures applied by the military dictatorship against political prisoners.

The magistrate also said Lula's 580-day incarceration between April 2018 and November 2019 was a “historic mistake.” Such a ruling banned the current president from running in the 2018 elections. “It was a set-up resulting from a power project by certain public agents in their aim to conquer the State by apparently legal means, but with methods and actions contrary to the law,” Toffoli explained.

“I was surprised by the authorities who abused their functions, acting in collusion to attack institutions, authorities, companies, and specific targets,” he added.

Moro, now a Senator, questioned the ruling, stating that the corruption was “real.” “We will fight, in the Senate, for the right to truth, integrity, and democracy.”

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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