Lula takes harsher tone on Brazil's court system: "I have not committed any crimes"

Brazil’s ex-president claims he is a victim of lies of informants who would “accuse their own mothers to obtain benefits

São Paulo |
Lula wrote reiterating he is running for president and reveals recent plots to keep him in prison
Lula wrote reiterating he is running for president and reveals recent plots to keep him in prison - Ricardo Stuckert/ Instituto Lula

Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva released an open letter on Tuesday in which he expresses his outrage over the treatment he has been receiving from Brazil’s court system.

In a harsh tone, Lula details the latest moves by the country’s Supreme Court to keep him from being released from prison. Lula’s letter also explains how a series of lies and unfounded accusations unfolded resulting in his conviction.

Read the full letter.

Dear Friends,

The time has come for all the democrats who are committed to defense of the Democratic Rule of Law to reject the maneuvers that have victimized me, so that the Constitution can prevail over this trickery that made by people who disrespect it out of their fear of the television news.

The only thing I want is for the Lava Jato Task Force, made up of the Federal Police, the Public Prosecutors Office, Judge Sergio Moro and the Fourth Regional Federal Court (TRF-4), to show society one single piece of material evidence proving that I committed any crime. The words of a plea bargain testimony are not enough, nor are the convictions of a power point presentation. If my judgment were based on impartiality and gravitas, it would not have needed to be thousands of pages long, because all they had to do was show one document that proved that I was the owner of a property in Guaruja.

O Globo newspaper published a lie that attributed the ownership of an apartment in Guarujá to me. The Federal Police reproduced this lie and started an investigation. The Public Prosecutors, receiving this same lie, made an accusation and, finally, always on the basis of this lie which was never proven, Judge Moro condemned me. The 4th Regional Federal Court, following the same script that began with a lie, confirmed the conviction.

All of this leads me to think that there is no reason to believe that there will be justice. What I see now in the public behavior of some of the Supreme Court Ministers is the mere reproduction of what passed through the first and second appeals processes.

First of all, Minister Fachin removed the judgment of the habeas corpus that could have impeded my imprisonment from the Second Group of the Federal Supreme Court and passed it to the Plenary. This maneuver prevented the Second Group, who’s majority opinion against imprisonment before the end of appeals processes is known by all, from issuing the habeas corpus. This was shown during the Plenary session in which 4 of the 5 Second Group Ministers voted in favor of granting the order.

Afterwords, when my defense team postulated on the suspension effect of an extraordinary appeal to grant my freedom through a preliminary injunction, the same Minister decided to bring the process directly to the Second Group, with judgment scheduled for June 26. The question posed in this preliminary injunction was never appreciated by the Plenary or by the Second Group, because it discusses whether arguments in my appeal are capable of justifying suspension of TRF-4 decision so that I can respond to the accusations in freedom.

However, they turned off the office lights on Friday, June 22, a few minutes before the TRF-4 decision was published denying the sequence of my appeal (which happened at 7:05 PM) as if they had set up an ambush. The injunction was denied and the process extinguished in a trick that, once again, prevented my case from being tried by the competent judicial body (in a decision released at 7:40 PM).

My defense appealed against the TRF-4’s decision and also against the decision that extinguished the process of the preliminary injunction. However, surprisingly, once again the rapporteur referred judgment on this appeal directly to the Supreme Court Plenary.

With this maneuver, the natural competence of the organ that is supposed to judge of my case was removed again. As was demonstrated in the June 26 session during which ruling on my preliminary injunction was supposed take place, the Supreme Court Second Group has the clear understanding of the possibility of granting a suspension effect based on extraordinary appeals similar to mine. But the maneuvers worked and my request for freedom was not ruled on.

One has to ask: Why did the rapporteur first refer judgment on the injunction directly to the Supreme Court Second Group and, immediately afterwords, send the appeal against court regulations to the Plenary when, according to law, it should be analyzed by the same competent body that judges the injunction?

Tyrannical decisions were made to choose whatever collegiate momentarily seemed more convenient, as if there were some commitment to the result of the judgment. They were made through a procedural strategy and not as an instrument of justice. This behavior, in addition to denying my guarantee of natural justice, would be understandable for prosecutors or defense teams but is totally inappropriate for a magistrate whose function requires impartiality and detachment from the political arena.

I am not asking for a favor, I am demanding respect.

During my whole life, and I am 72, I believed and preached that sooner or later Justice would always prevail for people who are victims of irresponsibility or false accusations. Even more so in my case, in which the false accusations against me are only confirmed by plea bargain informants who have confessed to stealing, who are condemned to dozens of years in prison and desperately try to make pleas that are good enough to obtain their freedom and conserve part of their stolen money. These are people who would be capable of accusing their own mothers to obtain benefits.

I am beginning to have dramatic and cruel doubts over continuing to believe that Justice can be served and refusing to participate in a farce.

If they do not want me to be President, the most simple way to do it is to mount the courage to practice democracy and beat me at the polls.

I haven’t committed any crime. I repeat: I have not committed any crime. For this reason, until they show at least one piece of material evidence that blemishes my innocence, I am a candidate for President of the Republic. I challenge my accusers to present this proof before August 15th of this year, when my candidacy will be registered in the Electoral Courts.

Curitiba, July 3rd, 2018

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Edited by: Juca Guimarães