In a testimony to the federal police on March 4, for the 24th stage of Operation Car Wash, dubbed Aletheia, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said allegations against him will make him stand as a presidential candidate in 2018: "What they are trying to do to me will make me change my position. I'm getting old, I was willing to rest, but I will stand as a presidential candidate in 2018 because I think a lot of people have been very rude to me and they'll have to deal with my rudeness from now on. They'll need to have courage to make me ineligible."
In a statement, disclosed by the Federal Court Monday (Mar. 14), Lula was questioned about the triplex apartment in Guarujá (São Paulo state), which, according to São Paulo state prosecutors, is "assigned" to him and his family. The former president said the apartment does not belong to him or to his family, and explained the reasons for not having acquired the property:
"It was very small, the rooms, the staircase were very, very small... I said 'Léo, it's not an appropriate [apartment] for an old man like me.' Léo said, 'I'll try to think of a project for this place.' When Marisa went back there, they had done no works yet. Then I told Marisa: 'Look, I'll make the decision of not doing it, I don't want it,'" he said.
In addition to talking about the structure of the apartment, Lula described having an apartment on the beach "useless." "One reason is, I came to the conclusion that I could only go to the beach on Memorial Day, and if it were raining. So I made the decision of not buying the apartment," he reported.
Lula also declared that the ranch in Atibaia is owned by Fernando Bittar and Jonas Suassuna. "Actually, I'll talk little about the ranch, because I won't talk about something that's not mine. The owners can talk about the ranch when you interview them." Lula, however, confirmed that he used to visit the place.
About plea bargains confirming the responsibility of João Vaccari Neto, treasurer of the ruling Workers' Party (PT), "for receiving amounts from the percentage of completed contracts" and questioned if the former president was aware of it, Lula explained that Vaccari was an "extraordinary partner," and that he does not believe that he had agreed on a percentage with companies. Lula criticized the press.
"I do not believe that Vaccari agreed to receive any percentage with companies. I really don't, I don't. However, we've been facing a situation in Brazil, since the “mensalão” corruption scandal, in which people don't have to be guilty; he'll not be convicted by a trial; he'll only be convicted by the headlines," he declared.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta
Fonte: Agência Brasil.