In a press release, the Workers' Party (PT) condemned the search operation carried out by the Federal Police this Thursday (Jun. 23) morning at its national headquarters in São Paulo, as part of Operation Brazil Cost, a spinoff from Operation Car Wash. The search operation lasted seven hours and, in the party's view, it was "unnecessary and a media circus."
"In series of facts and allegations involving politicians and businessmen accused of corruption, a diversionary operation was mounted in the renewed attempt to criminalize the Workers' Party (PT)," read the party's note. The note also said that the PT has nothing to hide and "has always been available to the authorities to respond to any question."
Operation Brazil Cost was launched by the Federal Police in a joint effort with the Federal Prosecution Office (MPF) and the Federal Revenue Service (Receita). The purpose of the operation is to investigate kickbacks worth $29.51 million contracts for information technology services provided to people linked with government officials in the Ministry of Planning, Budgeting, and Management between 2010 and 2015.
Former Planning Minister Paulo Bernardo was one of those arrested in the operation.
The PT's bench in Senate also released a statement questioning the real motives for arresting the former minister and reaffirming that the purpose of the operation was to divert public attention from corruption cases involving the interim government of Acting President Michel Temer.
The party also criticized the fact that the former minister was arrested at the subsidized apartment of his wife, Senator Gleisi Hoffmann, which would allegedly constitute a violation against the senator's parliamentary immunity. "Senator Gleisi Hoffmann's official residence was invaded in front of her minor children, by the Federal Police, without prior authorization from the Supreme Court. Therefore, absolute constitutional powers of the Supreme Court and the Office of the Prosecutor General have been seized," read the note.
PT Chairman Rui Falcão arrived at the party headquarters in São Paulo at around 1 pm, without talking to the press.
* Additional reporting by Felipe Pontes
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta
Fonte: Agência Brasil.