São Paulo, April 23, 2019

The decision of the 5th Section of the Superior Court of Justice, refuting solid arguments from the lawyers of former President Lula, represents a flagrant disrespect to the guarantees offered by the Brazilian Constitution and to the due process of law.

In a clearly biased move, once again ignoring facts and evidences, and denying the defense the right to verbal response, the four voting ministers decided to keep their position on the grounds of political persecution. A renewed episode of shame for the history of the Brazilian judicial system.

The only acceptable decision would have been the annulment of the trial that unjustly determined the former President to be guilty. This trial does not have a single indication of being impartial or credible, as it was led by former judge Sergio Moro, who is the current Minister of Justice in Bolsonaro’s administration, and who directly benefited from his own sentence when he was offered and accepted this position .

The appeals court chose a position of being an accomplice to the gross farce, clearly manufactured by the Carwash Operation. Amidst other misjudgments, the Court:

- endorsed the accusation of corruption without material evidence;

-it accepted plea bargains from imprisoned defendants as a way of diminishing their sentences, and as determining probes against Lula;

- it disregarded all evidence that the defendant never owned or took advantage of the apartment that’s attributed to him;

- as well as it ignored that Lula was never the proprietor nor the beneficiary of alleged renovations, which also was never forensically examined.

It is increasingly evident that the conviction and arrest of former President Lula are at the service of forces that attack the rights of the Brazilian people, as well as the national sovereignty and democracy.

Lula was indeed sentenced and jailed to not run for the 2018 presidential election. According to these forces, he must remain sentenced and imprisoned so that the wealthy elite and its government may feel free to continue plundering the country and exploring the working classes.

With the wear of Lava Jato (Carwash) Operation, and the growing solidarity with the former president, the 5th Section of the Supreme Court felt forced to reduce both the time of the arrest and the fines ruled by former Judge Moro and the Regional Court (TRF-4), which were outrageously abusive. They had to step back to try and save what might remain of their own credibility.

What appears to really be true is that these persecutors will never deem the former President to be innocent or to release him, neither through their goodwill nor through their ethics. Only the organized and mobilized people, with affirmative action by all democrats, inside and outside the country, will be able to defeat arbitrary judicial despotism, helping Lula achieve his right to an honest and exempt trial.

Free Lula National Committee - Brazil

Free Lula Committee - USA

Natalia Campos