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Ex-President Lula Says Former Minister Palocci Is Cold and Calculating and Creates 'Fiction'

09/14/2017 - 10h47

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ANA LUIZA ALBUQUERQUE
CATIA SEABRA
ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
FROM CURITIBA

In his second testimony to Judge Sergio Moro, ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that former minister Antonio Palocci is "calculating, cold and a liar" and denied he had made any type of illegal agreement with construction company Odebrecht.

"It is the most laughable piece of fiction that I have ever seen," said Lula.

The former president spoke for two hours on Wednesday, September 13, a week after Pallocci, Finance minster during his administration, had said that Lula made a "blood pact" with Odebrecht, with the payment of R$ 300 million (US$ 95 million) in illegal advantages in exchange for the maintenance of the construction company as a protagonist in Lula's administration.

"Palloci's effrontery was so big that he even made up an entire story," said Lula.

In this case Lula is accused of benefiting from undue advantages paid for by construction company Odebrecht - including the purchase of land that would be given to the Lula Institute and whose negotiation was allegedly made by Palocci. Palloci himself is a defendant in the same lawsuit and is negotiating a plea bargain deal.

Lula said Palocci was not even responsible for the business connected to the institute and only met with him every eight months after he left office. Lula also said he feels no anger towards Palocci and that "he has the right to want to be free."

"What you cannot do, if you do not want to take responsibility for your own illegal acts, is to say someone else did them."

Adriano Bretas, the lawyer of former minister Palocci, denied ex-president Lula's statement about his client and said the "he [Lula] is the real liar, who is denying everything that goes against him."

"When Palocci was silent, he was deemed intelligent and virtuous; after he decided to tell the truth, he was considered calculating and a liar," said Bretas.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

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Former president Lula da Silva gave his second testimony to judge Sergio Moro
Former president Lula da Silva gave his second testimony to judge Sergio Moro

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