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Workers' Party Will Use Lula's New Testimony to Escalate Political Dispute

09/13/2017 - 10h53

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ANA LUIZA ALBUQUERQUE
CATIA SEABRA
SPECIAL ENVOYS TO CURITIBA

ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
FROM CURITIBA

The new testimony by former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva before judge Sergio Moro, scheduled for Wednesday (13) in Curitiba, will be used by the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT), to reinforce the message that there is a legal war against Lula.

Demonstrations to support Lula, although smaller than those organized in May, during his first testimony, will be held in the city, with the presence of the former president. About 4,000 people are expected.

According to PT leaders, Wednesday's testimony is a chance for Lula to "fiercely" defend himself against accusations, in line with his public appearances in the Northeast of Brazil, which ended last week.

On the eve of the hearing, on Tuesday (12), PT aired TV ads stating the former president is a victim of hatred and persecution. "While they persecute Lula, people on the streets embrace Lula," says the campaign.

The ad closes with the words "Brazil will dream again," in reference to Lula's presidential campaign for 2018.

His testimony in Curitiba is related to accusations of corruption and money laundering regarding alleged illegal transactions with the construction company Odebrecht. The company claims it paid for a piece of land for the Lula Institute, with money from PT's kickbacks.

Last week, in his testimony before judge Moro, former minister Antonio Palocci said Lula signed a "blood pact" with Odebrecht, leading to the payment of R$300 million (US$ 94 million) related to undue advantages in exchange for keeping the group's leading role in the government.

The land for the institute is allegedly included in such amount.

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

Read the article in the original language

Paulo Whitaker/Reuters
Supporters of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva are seen during Lula's first testimony in Curitiba, on May 10, 2017
Supporters of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva are seen during Lula's first testimony in Curitiba, on May 10, 2017

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