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US-Petrobras agreement exonerates Lula, attorney says

Mar 20, 2019 11:02 AM

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s defence team has filed a petition to the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) for the court to analyze an agreement between Petrobras and the United States and review Lula's conviction in the case of the Guarujá triplex trial after the company signed an agreement where it acts as a defendant and not as a victim, and also on the news that came out of an OAS labour suit that they paid 6 million reais to adjust informant testimonies.

The document points out the reasons why the agreement between operation Lava Jato (Car Wash), Petrobrás and the US government, which allocated R$ 2.5 billion to a Car Wash foundation, is incompatible with the sentence given to Lula. In the document, signed by the 11 Car Wash prosecutors, the US Department of Justice and Petrobras, the latter appears as a defendant and responsible for the company’s embezzlements, including listing executives involved in these misappropriations. However, in Lula’s trial Petrobras appears as a victim, and was even an assistant to the prosecution. It is not possible, given the same facts, to be a victim in Brazil but a criminal in the United States. At no point in the document, signed by Dallagnol's team, does the company blame former President Lula for Petrobras' embezzlements.

While Car Wash posed as a champion of Petrobrás in Brazil, it helped the United States try the company as a defendant, forcing it to deliver 2.5 billion reais and access to information on technology and oil fields.

Further new information that came to light in a labour suit reveals that Léo Pinheiro, whose testimony, without any proof, was used by Moro to convict Lula, paid R$6 million for other informers to "adjust" their testimonies.

The information comes from a labour suit where a former OAS manager complained about not having benefitted from donations made by Léo Pinheiro, unlike Agenot Medeiros, another OAS deponent who allegedly "confirmed" statements by Léo Pinheiro, according to Moro's ruling.

Lula's defence also reiterate that several times they asked the then Judge, Sérgio Moro, for information on the agreements and testimonies of Car Wash informers with US authorities. Moro continually withheld information and questioning about this in the testimonies. Lula's defence requires access to documents of cooperation between operation Car Wash and US officials who have already admitted to illegally collaborating in the case against former President Lula (as Attorney General Kenneth Blanco publicly admitted).

Translated by Carolina Paes Brownlow