Brasilia – The Federal Supreme Court, the highest court in Brazil, yesterday accepted a request from the defense of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and annulled the evidence obtained from the collaboration agreement with the Odebrecht company, considering that they were obtained illegally. illegal by the former judge Sérgio Moro and the former prosecutors of the Lava Jato operation, while affirming that the prison sentence against the president was a “historic error”.
Judge Antonio Dias Toffoli’s ruling indicated that the alleged confessions are part of illegal devices of “psychological torture” whose objective, among other things, was to obtain false evidence against innocent people, while at the same time he described the prison sentence as “something armed”. that banned Lula from the 2018 elections.
The accusations agreements awarded to Odebrecht signed in the framework of Lava Jato in 2017 must now return to judges of the first instance to be reviewed, since Toffoli considered that there was not an adequate procedure and compared what happened with the torture that the military dictatorship exerted against political prisoners.
The magistrate affirmed that the public agents “used true psychological torture to obtain evidence against the innocent” and that they acted with partiality and outside their sphere of competence. In this way, he invalidated evidence contained in the “bribery systems” that were presented by Odebrecht to corrupt politicians, finance electoral campaigns and cartel with other construction companies to win public tenders.
The agreement between the Federal Public Ministry and Odebrecht was signed in December 2016 and ratified, in the context of Lava Jato, in May 2017, by then-judge Moro.
The company promised to reveal illegal conduct and to stop the practices with the payment of fines in Brazil, Switzerland and the United States and its then president, Marcelo Odebrecht, was arrested.
At least 87 people involved participated in the denunciation agreements and later the construction company changed its name to Novonor for image reasons, in the middle of a creditor summons process.
Toffoli’s ruling indicates that Lula’s arrest in 2018 may have been “one of the biggest judicial errors in the country’s history.”
Lula was imprisoned in April of that year accused of passive corruption and money laundering, and was released from prison after 580 days, in November 2019, after the Supreme Court decided that a person can only serve a sentence when all resources are exhausted. . Later, in 2021, the court annulled the sentences against the president, considering that Moro and the prosecutors politically persecuted the leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) to withdraw him from political life and allow the victory of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro in the elections of this year.
In this way, Lula recovered his political rights and was able to present himself as a candidate in the 2022 elections, which he won with 60 million votes, by a narrow margin over Bolsonaro.
For his part, Moro was Bolsonaro’s Justice Minister after having imprisoned Lula and today he is an opposition senator.
“It was a setup resulting from a power project of certain public agents in their objective of conquering the State by apparently legal means, but with methods and actions contrary to the law,” Toffoli said in part of the decision.
He also indicated that the arrest of Lula “was the true serpent’s egg of the attacks on democracy and the institutions that were already foreshadowed in the actions and voices of these agents against the institutions and the Federal Supreme Court itself.”
The ruling was rejected by Moro, who said that corruption during the PT governments “was real.” “The corruption in the PT governments was real, the criminals confessed and more than 6,000 million reais (about 1,200 million dollars at current exchange rates) were recovered for Petrobras,” the former judge said on social networks.
“This was the work of Lava Jato, within the law, with decisions confirmed for years by the Superior Courts. Brazilians saw it, supported it and know the truth. We respect the institutions and all our actions were legal. We will fight in the Senate for the right to the truth, for integrity and for democracy,” he added.