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Majority Vote In Supreme Court To Try Case of Ex-President Lula

04/01/2016 - 14h03

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MÁRCIO FALCÃO
FROM BRASÍLIA

This Thursday (31) the STF (Supreme Federal Court) agreed to support, at eight votes to two, minister Teori Zavascki's provisional decision to take the case of ex-President Lula out of the hands of Judge Sergio Moro.

He demanded the investigations involving Lula in operation Lava Jato be taken to the STF since they included people with privileged jurisdiction.

Reporting judge for Lava Jato in the STF, Zavascki stated that "well-intentioned but probable excesses in duty" could endanger the validity of the investigations, indirectly addressing Moro.

The minister went on to say that "it will be difficult" to confirm the validity of the wiretapped telephone conversations between President Dilma Rousseff and the ex-President, in which they discussed his imminent appointment to chief of staff.

Zavascki has judged the disclosure of the intercepted calls illegal. He has deliberated over which legal power would determine Lula's case: whether it should be taken up by the Supreme Court or remain in the court of Paraná.

According to Zavascki, it is not up to Moro to decide whether or not these calls testify to the fact that people with privileged jurisdiction commit crimes. He maintained it is the STF's job to analyse this issue.

The prosecutor had previously confirmed reason to remain sceptical in light of Lula's nomination, which has, incidentally, been blocked by the court by a preliminary injunction. Zavascki is deliberating over whether to also demand an investigation into Rousseff in the STF.

In an indirect address to Moro, Zavascki said that STF and the STJ (the Superior Court of Justice) had already annulled certain operations owing to serious judicial misuse.

Moro has already sent the required material to the STF, which will be presented in court by the State Prosecutor General.

Minister José Eduardo Cardozo, Brazil's current Attorney-General, said that the role of the STF had been "usurped" and that the leaking of the telephone call was a violation of the rights to privacy.

"The specific case of the President of the Republic is most definitely a gross violation of national security laws. Not because the content of her speech affects national security, but because the confidentiality that should be accorded to the head of government and head of state was breached. This is, surely, a question of national security," he said.

Translated by GILLIAN SOPHIE HARRIS

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