The record of a prominent former judge who now serves as Brazil’s justice minister, is being called into question after messages were leaked, raising allegations of collusion between the judge and prosecutors, in a case that targeted the country’s former president.
Brazil’s Supreme Court has confirmed it is investigating an appeal from a former president who is currently in prison on charges of money laundering and corruption, after leaked documents allege that there was rampant collusion between the judge and prosecutors in his case.
The allegations surround the case of Brazil’s Lula da Silva, a founding member of the Workers’ Party, who served as president from 2003 to 2010. He was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison in 2017, after he was accused of accepting bribes from a construction company that renovated an apartment for him.
But Lula was just one of hundreds of politicians and executives who were jailed as a result of a corruption investigation referred to as “Operation Car Wash.” And now the actions of the federal judge who convicted the former president are being called into question.
A new report from the Intercept Brazil claims that leaked messages from Judge Moro to the prosecutor showed that he provided advance knowledge of his decisions, strategic advice on the sequences of investigations, and informal tips on conducting raids in the case.
In response, the lead prosecutor in theCar Wash Investigation denied the accusations, but apologized for the discomfort caused by the leaked messages.
“Those accusations are not true and their origin is linked to a criminal attack. Even when I don’t acknowledge the trustworthiness of the messages, we recognize that they can create some discomfort to some people and we are deeply sorry about that,” said Prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol.
While polls named Lula as a frontrunner in Brazil’s 2018 election, his conviction prevented him from being eligible to run, which has sparked numerous accusations of corruption at the hands of his opponents.
As the report noted, once Brazil’s Bolsonaro was elected president, he promoted Judge Moro to the newly created and powerful position of “super justice minister.”
One of the authors of the Intercept’s report told RT that the latest leaks are just the beginning. “We are continuing our work on the case. As we’ve said, this is just our first report. We have a lot of information, we have analyzed, I think, only one percent of the conversations. We will publish materials from these messages,” Rafael Moro Martins said.
Now, it remains to be seen what will come of the latest allegations, and how the United States will respond, given its outspoken support for the current administration.