September 2, 2020
Former president Lula da Silva during a demonstration held shortly before he presented himself to the Brazilian federal police in 2018. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert

This Tuesday (1st), a Federal court annulled one of the nine criminal cases against former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to continue the process.

The lawsuit refers to initial accusations of corruption, influence peddling, money laundering, and illicit association made against Lula under the unproven presumption that he favored illicit businesses of the construction company Odebrecht in Angola.

The decision was made by a Brasilia’s Federal court that had already rejected some of these accusations last year but was still trying those corresponding to the alleged crimes of corruption and influence peddling.

With the refusal to accept the last remaining accusations, the case will be shelved, which favors both Lula and one of his nephews, Taiguara Rodrigues dos Santos, who was also accused of alleged illicit business in Angola.

In recent years, the Brazilian justice system has opened nine criminal proceedings against Lula for alleged corruption practices.

Some of these cases are related to the “Car Wash” operation, a federal investigation process that uncovered a vast network of illegal acts perpetrated by Odebrecht in Latin America and Africa.

In one of those trials, the Workers’ Party leader was sentenced to eight years and ten months in prison. However, after spending 580 days in jail, Lula was released by a decision of the Supreme Court.

The former union leader was the victim of judicial and political persecution that prevented him from participating in the 2018 elections, in which the far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro was elected as president.

TeleSur / EFE