In an open letter to all Brazilians published on Thursday (Mar. 17), former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said his critical remarks about members of the Supreme Court (STF) in a telephone conversation with President Dilma Rousseff were part of a private conversation about an “extreme situation where I have been denied basic rights by state authorities.”
In the letter, which was published by the Lula Institute, the former president noted he expressed his astonishment in a personal conversation that was published “in spite of law and rights”.
The conversation, which was wiretapped by Federal Police on court orders, was made public on Wednesday (Mar. 16) after Judge Sérgio Moro, who presides over Operation Car Wash, revoked the confidentiality of the investigation. In the recording, Lula said to Rousseff that the Supreme Court is “completely cowered”.
“I do not expect Supreme Court justices to share my personal and political positions. But I can't come to terms with the fact that words that have been illegally obtained from personal conversations, which are protected by Article 5 of the Constitution, are now nurturing derogatory judgments about my character,” a passage from Lula's letter read.
The former president went on to write he believes in the institutions, in an independent and harmonious relationship between the government branches, and that he expects Public Prosecution to be impartial and stern. Lula also said he “believes in the impersonality, impartiality, and sensibleness” of judges.
In the telephone conversation, in addition to the remarks about the Supreme Court, Lula told Rousseff that “Parliament [is] totally chickened out.” At other points he criticized Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot, and Judge Sérgio Moro.
Justice Celso de Mello, the longest-time member of the Supreme Court, responded to Lula's remarks by saying they have seriously offended the institutional dignity of the Judiciary system. Mello said the insults to the Supreme Court were “unacceptable” and “cause revulsion”, and reflect a “vile and dishonorable response that is typical of autocratic and arrogant minds” that can hardly hide the fear “of the prevalence of the authority of law and of the stern, fair, impersonal, and unbiased decisions of free, independent judges, who honor Brazil's judicial class.”
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.