06 de February de 2019

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Ex-president Lula’s defence team will appeal once again against another criminal conviction handed down today (06/02/2019), by the 13 Federal Court of Curitiba that violates the most basic legal parameters and reinforces the perverse use of the law and judicial procedures for the purpose of political persecution which we call “lawfare”.

This new sentence follows the same line as the last sentence handed down by ex-judge Sergio Moro, that sentenced Lula to 12 years imprisonment, without any proof whatsoever of any criminal acts whilst in office. That sentence which accuses Lula of accepting bribes is based on lies and we do stress here that our client never committed such crimes.

Once again, the Federal Court of Curitiba attributed to ex-president Lula, criminal responsibility using the ownership of a property, a “caixa geral” and other accusations by informers/whistleblowers who would benefit somehow.

This decision did not take into account the presumption of innocence submitted by Lula’s defence team as shown on page 1. 643 of the allegations filed less than a month ago ( 07/01/2019) – with an exhaustive deliberation of 101 statements made during the criminal prosecution together with technical reports and other relevant documents .

This sentence, basically, repels generically, the argument presented by Lula’s defence team referring to “statements given by collaborators and also a co-defendant Leo Pinheiro also known as José Adelmário” (p.114), as if they were two different people, which shows a complete disregard for the evidence of proof of innocence presented by the defence team.

To make evident the absurdity of the new sentence, we can say that:

Lula was convicted for “accepting 700 thousands reais in bribes from Odebrecht” even though his lawyer presented an expert report elaborated from an analysis by the Odebrecht accounting system that points out that the withdrawal was made on behalf of one of the main executives of the Odebrecht Group ( the president of the Board of Directors); this technical document (elaborated by an auditor and expert with legal responsibility over its content) and confirmed by documents from the Odebrecht system itself, was dismissed under the allegations that ” this is the analysis contracted by the penal criminal prosecution aiming to corroborate the thesis defence”-as if all whole technical demonstration presented by the legal defence had no evidential value;

Lula was convicted for a crime of passive corruption as stated ” receipt of 700 thousands reais in bribes from OAS” in the year of 2014 when he was no longer a civil servant and, despite there being no evidence of wrong doing by the ex-president that would benefit the contractors involved in the trial.

It was applied, in Lula’s case, once again, a sentence completely out of any legal parameter ever applied before in the ” Operação Lava-Jato” — and, according to the TRF4 trial carried out in 2016, there is no need to follow the rules-through rhetoric and substantiation and without any observation of established legal standards.

In 2016 the defence team presented before the Human Rights Committee/ONU the occurrence of a series of gross violations of International Law, including the absence of a fair trial, impartial and independent. The substance of the sentence handed down today can only confirm this situation and for this reason will be taken to the Committee to be tried this year- and, eventually, help the country to restore Lula’s rights.


Workers Party’ | Photo: Filipe Araújo | Translated by Cleusa Vicente.