The Attorney General's Office (AGU) filed a petition with the Supreme Court (STF) Sunday (Mar. 20) for a provisional remedy to suspend all proceedings and court decisions relating to two lawsuits pending before the STF against the appointment of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as Chief of Staff. In its document submitted to Justice Teori Zavascki, the Attorney-General's Office was acting on behalf of President Dilma Rousseff. Zavascki is the justice-rapporteur in charge of both lawsuits.
According to the Attorney-General, the proceedings should be suspended until the Supreme Court rules on the two lawsuits, one of which was filed by the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and the other one by the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), the main opposition party.
The parties claimed that Lula's appointment “violate basic principles and due process in that the president used her cabinet appointing authority with intent to circumvent the system of constitutional distribution of jurisdictions.” They requested the suspension of the effects of the decree that appointed Lula, which would block his investiture, and demand that the investigations relating to Operation Car Wash concerning the former president remain under the jurisdiction of the presiding judge in charge of Operation Car Wash, Sérgio Moro, a lower federal court judge in Curitiba, Paraná. As a Chief of Staff, a cabinet position, Lula would gain the special prerogative of having any criminal cases against him handled by the Supreme Court.
About ten lawsuits were filed with the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of the former president as Chief of Staff on Thursday alone (17). Among them were lawsuits filed by opposition parties including PSDB, PPS, and PSB. On Friday (18), Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes blocked Lula's investiture in response to an injunction sought by PPS and PSDB. In the same decision, Mendes decided that any cases involving the former president under Operation Car Wash should continue under Judge Moro's responsibility.
In another development in the investigations targeting Lula, the former president's lawyers petitioned Justice Teori Zavascki to “reassert his authority over the proceedings filed with the Supreme Court on March 16, after Judge Sérgio Moro declined to do so.” Zavascki is the justice in charge of dealing with Operation Car Wash within the Supreme Court.
In a statement issued to the press on Sunday (20), Lula's lawyers claimed that “it was not Justice Gilmar Mendes's role to decide whose authority it is to handle the investigations targeting the former president, when he examined the lawsuits filed by PSDB and PPS.”
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.