Brazilian Supreme Court Says Judge Who Sentenced Lula Was “Partial” | Corruption News
The decision is the latest victory for the former Brazilian president, who saw his corruption convictions overturned this month.
The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled that a judge was “biased” in convicting former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for corruption in 2017, during the leftist leader’s last victory.
Judge Carmen Lucia overturned an earlier ruling on Tuesday, shifting the majority 3-2 in favor of Lula.
The Supreme Court determined that Judge Sergio Moro, who headed a vast corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash, was not impartial.
The decision comes after a Supreme Court judge on March 8 canceled corruption convictions against Lula, citing a jurisdictional issue with the court that heard the case, and saying he must be retried in a court in Brasilia, the capital.
The move opens the door for Lula to run for president next year.
Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling is a blow to Moro, who has led the corruption investigation, and it throws up evidence that could have been used against Lula in a new trial.
Monica Yanikiew of Al Jazeera, reporting from Rio de Janeiro, said the move was justification for the former president.
“This new court ruling … basically says that the person who tried him had his own political agenda, so all the evidence that was gathered against him cannot be used in a new trial if there is any. one, ”she said. .
Lula and his supporters accused the judge of conspiring to keep him in the race for the 2018 Brazilian presidential elections.
Lula was the frontrunner heading into this contest, which was ultimately won by far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.
Moro then accepted the post of justice minister in Bolsonaro’s government – a fact that some of the judges cited in Moro’s judgment were biased.
Bruno Fernandes, criminal lawyer and criminal law expert at Braga and Fernandes Lawyers, Rio de Janeiro law firm, told Al Jazeera this month that he believed Moro’s investigation exceeded legal limits.
He “failed to respect Lula’s right to a fair trial,” Fernandes said.
The application is still unclear
Lula, who was president from 2003 to 2010, has yet to confirm his plans for a possible presidential race next year.
At an event on March 10, Lula said he would tour the country and speak with supporters. before making a final decision.
“My head doesn’t have time to think about the 2022 candidacy,” Lula said at the time. “When the time to discuss the 2022 bid comes, we look forward to announcing to Brazil that we are thinking about 2022.”
Brazil is currently in the throes of a coronavirus crisis, as new infections and deaths increase rapidly and the country’s health network is pushed to its limits.
Bolsonaro, a COVID-19 skeptic who downplayed the threat of the virus, has faced increasing pressure to explain his government’s handling of the situation.
To date, more than 295,000 people have died in Brazil from the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, while more than 12 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported.
Tuesday, the far-right president officially sworn a new Minister of Health, the fourth since the start of the pandemic.