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'I Do Not Fear Arrest,' Says Former President Lula Regarding Federal Police Operations

11/06/2015 - 09h57

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FROM SÃO PAULO

Ex-president Lula said on Thursday (5) that he does not fear arrest for the Lava Jato (money laundering and bribe scheme) or the Zelotes corruption scheme. The declaration was made during an interview with the television program SBT Brasil.

"I am not afraid of arrest", he said. "I doubt that there is anyone in this country -from my worst enemy to my best friend, any business man big or small- that can say they ever had an illicit conversation with me", he added.

The Worker's Party member joked about the investigations that are affecting his family, primarily his son Luis Cláudio, and said that Brazil is "living a republic of suspicion at the moment". According to him, today you don't need to provide evidence for the accused in this country, mere suspicion is enough to condemn someone.

Lula, who laughed on more than one occasion while journalist Kennedy Alencar asked about accusations, was once again ironic when questioned about having ever being alerted about the corruption at Petrobras -an argument already used during the mensalão accusations.

"I was not alerted by the glorious Brazilian press, I was not alerted by the Federal Police, I was not alerted by the Public Prosecutor's Office and I'm the president who visited Petrobras the most", he said. "Those things you only learn when the gang falls", he added.

Lula said he is ready to be a presidential candidate in 2018 to defend the government's project for Worker's Party administration.

When asked if the the Worker's Party committed electoral larceny during the 2014 campaign to reelect President Dilma Rousseff, Lula said he didn't know if the federal government "had clarity" that the measures preached during the candidacy would be so different from the ones actually adopted after the elections.

"After the campaign, it was perceived that more money was going out rather than coming in", Lula said.

Translated by SUGHEY RAMIREZ

Read the article in the original language

Reprodução/SBT
Former president Lula da Silva, during an interview with the television program SBT Brasil
Former president Lula da Silva, during an interview with the television program SBT Brasil

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