Brazilian Supreme Court removes Judge from Petrobras Investigation
The forces of corruption and deceit have gotten a temporary victory. The Brazilian Supreme Court, under the orders of one of its magistrate, has removed judge Sergio Moro, the man in charge of investigating the Petrobras scandal, from the case.
The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil conceded a request made by the Rousseff administration last week, in which the government asked for reviewing Moro’s actions in revealing the telephone conversation between the current president, Dilma Rousseff and her political Godfather, Lula da Silva.
As of right now, the Supreme Court itself will be the entity in charge of continuing with the investigation against Lula, but it is not clear who will be responsible for continuing Moro’s work as chief investigator in the Petrobras scandal.
Judge Teori Zavascki, rapporteur of the Petrobras case in the Supreme agreed to a request by the Government that questioned alleged irregularities in the disclosure of wiretapping of conversations between Lula and his successor and political goddaughter, Dilma Rousseff.
The decision, however, does not repeal Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes’ decision from last Friday to nullify Lula’s appointment as Minister of the Presidency, a position that would grant him privileged status.
As of right now, then, Lula is a citizen like any other one, who could be arrested if the authorities consider it to be fitting in the process of investigating several accusations made against him for money laundering and for hiding information about properties he apparently owned, but that were not reported as his.
The former president has several open cases against him and the prosecution of Sao Paulo ordered his detention after formally charging him with crimes of money laundering and document forgery.
This request for his arrest becomes more likely now that Lula is not protected by the privileged status, but it is in the hands of the Supreme Court to make the request effective.
The latest decision by the Supreme Court gives Lula and Dilma a little more room to breathe after two or three weeks of intense legal actions in the Petrobras case and government reactions to save face and put off the inevitable.