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Judge Moro Dismisses Claims Tying Operation Lava Jato to US

11/25/2016 - 06h54

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ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
FROM CURITIBA

At the latest hearing of the lawsuit against former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the state of Paraná, federal judge Sergio Moro - who conducts the lawsuit - dismissed claims on Thursday (the 24th) made by Lula's lawyers tying Operation Lava Jato to authorities in the United States.

"With all due respect, the relevance of this line of questioning is completely beyond me", Moro said to one of Lula's lawyers during the interrogation of former Petrobras director, Nestor Cerveró.

Similar claims have been made by leftist intellectuals such as philosopher Marilena Chauí, who said in a video in July that Moro had been trained by the FBI - the American counterpart to the Brazilian Federal Police - and that he intended to sabotage Brazil's sovereignty over the country's pre-salt oil.

The lawyers wanted to know if Cerveró, a Lava Jato informer, had also struck a deal in the United States or elsewhere. However, the former director refused to answer such questions, claiming confidentiality obligations.

The defense suspects that Lava Jato investigators have been informally collaborating with the American government by indicating which informers should sign plea bargains abroad.

According to the lawyers, that would contradict treaties agreed upon by the Brazilian government designating the Ministry of Justice as the competent agency for such matters.

"What we want to discuss are the charges that are being brought up here. We are not dealing with the lawsuit in the United States", Moro said to defense attorney Cristiano Martins Zanin during the hearing.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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