Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot submitted his opinion to the Supreme Court on Thursday (Apr. 7) recommending against the inauguration of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as Chief of Staff. According to Janot, Lula's appointment was misused to “disrupt” the Operation Car Wash corruption investigations and transfer jurisdiction over the investigations against Lula from the lower court federal judge Sérgio Moro to the Supreme Court.
The latest recommendation shows that Janot changed his position in relation to Lula's appointment. On March 28, he had upheld the appointment in two lawsuits filed to challenget it.
This time, Janot said he decided to examine the evidence more carefully and concluded that “broader elements” in the appeals filed against Lula's inauguration “call for a wide rediscussion of the validity” of his appointment.
Janot mentioned a telephone conversation that was wiretapped by Operation Car Wash investigators in which Lula and the head of President Dilma Rousseff's office, Jaques Wagner, mentioned Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber. In the conversation, Lula urged the government to contact Weber, who was examining a request from Lula's lawyers to suspend the investigations against him. Weber rejected the request.
According to the Prosecutor-General, the conversation shows that Lula has tried to “interfere” with the investigation. He said “the use of state officials, especially of the highest authority, to serve personal interests, shows an attempt by Luís Inácio Lula da Silva to interfere with the regular course of activity of the institutions, by taking advantage of key state officials to address matters related to Operation Car Wash.”
The prosecutor went on to mention the fact that the President's Office sent Lula his instrument of investiture so he could use it in case he was unable to attend his own inauguration.
The judgment on the validity of the former president's inauguration as Chief of Staff is expected to take place next week.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.