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Supreme Court Takes Plea Bargain Testimonies Citing Lula, out of Judge Moro's Hands

04/25/2018 - 11h58

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REYNALDO TUROLLO JR.
FROM BRASÍLIA

A majority of the Supreme Court Justices who make up the court's second panel decided on Tuesday (the 24th) that the plea bargain testimonies provided by executives at construction firm Odebrecht citing former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva shall be sent to the São Paulo Federal Court System - a decision that takes them out of the hands of Curitiba-based judge Sergio Moro.

A majority of justices composing the panel accepted an appeal brought forward by Lula's defense, arguing that the content of the testimonies provided by Odebrecht informers was unrelated to state-run oil company Petrobras.

The testimonies in question mention the country house in Atibaia (São Paulo) frequented by the former president and his family, alleged donations to the Lula Institute, an apartment in São Bernardo do Campo (São Paulo) and the former president's speaking fees.

Last year, Justice Edson Fachin ruled that the testimonies of Odebrecht executives, along with any corroborating evidence they may have provided, be sent to the Federal Court System in Curitiba.

Lula's lawyer, Cristiano Zanin Martins, welcomed the Supreme Court's ruling.

"The ruling that was pronounced by the 2nd panel of the Supreme Court corroborates what former president Lula's defense has always maintained: there is no solid legal grounding that justifies the jurisdiction of the 13th Federal Criminal Court of Curitiba over cases involving the former president", he said.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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