Photo: Silvia Izquierdo / AP
The minister Sergio Moro ( justice and public safety) struck and was hit back in Lisbon. During the Vll Juridical Forum in the Portuguese capital, the car wash ex-judge pointed out ‘some institutional difficulty’ in the Portuguese procedural system and named the Lusitanian ex-prime minister, José Sócrates, target of the operation Marquês, which investigates allegations of corruption. Sócrates did not hold back and gave the correct response in a statement to ‘ Migalhas’ a legal site.
“What Brazil is going through is a dishonest orchestration from your judicial system for certain and concrete political interest. That is what happens when a political activist acts as a judge in disguise”.
The skirmish happened in Lisbon.
Firstly, Moro declared “The example involving the previous prime minister José Sócrates (in operation Marquês) is famous, which, when seen from a distance you realise that some institutional difficulty allowed this process to work in a reasonable time, just as we have this institutional difficulty in Brazil”.
Replying to Moro, via Migalhas, the luso ex-prime minister was emphatic. Sócrates cited a number of events from the operation Car Wash concerning ex-president Lula in the trial of the triplex, Guarujá, São Paulo North Coast.
Moro sentenced Lula to 9 years and six months imprisonment for passive corruption and money laundering, the sentence was later extended by the Federal Court ( TRF-4) to 12 years and a month.
The Worker’s Party member has been serving time since April 7, 2018 in a special room in the Federal Police building in Curitiba.
Answering back to Moro, the ex-prime minister declared.
“The judge illegally validates a phone tapping between the President of the Republic and the previous President. The judge decides, illegally, to give the recording to Globo television network, who broadcasted it that very same day. The judge convicts the former president for corruption by “Indeterminate acts”. The judge arrests the ex-president before the sentence transited through, breaching the Brazilian Constitution. The judge, whilst on holiday and without jurisdiction on the case, acts illegally to stop the decision of a supreme court judge who decided to release Lula”.
The United Nations Human Rights Council decides to notify Brazilian Institutions to allow Lula’s candidacy and campaign for election. The Brazilian Institutions refuse, therefore infringing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ( ICCPR) that Brazil subscribed to freely. In the end, the judge receives his reward: he is named minister for justice by the elected president and main beneficiary of the decisions to convict, arrest and impede Lula da Silva’s candidacy.
The spectacle may present some aspects of Vaudeville but is, in reality, quite sinister. What Brazil is going through is a dishonest instrumentalization of its judicial system in favour of certain concrete political interests. That is what happens when a political activist acts disguised as a judge. It is not just an institutional problem, it is an institutional tragedy. I will return to this.José Sócrates
Ericeira, 22nd April, 2019
Translated by Cleusa Vicente, Free Lula UK Committee.