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Brazilian Judge Moro Takes Measure to Protect Companies and Informants in Car Wash Investigation

06/13/2018 - 11h43

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DANIELA LIMA
RICARDO BALTHAZAR

Brazilian judge Sergio Moro imposed a measure to block actions from control bodies and the federal government, prohibiting the use of evidence obtained by operation Car Wash against informers and companies that admitted to crimes and began to cooperate with public prosecutors in the investigations.

In his order, which is confidential, the judge changes nine previous decisions in which he authorized the sharing of Car Wash evidence with those bodies, whose role is to seek remedy for damages caused to the public purse and to impose fines and other administrative penalties.

Moro not only prohibits the use of information from Car Wash operation in actions against informers, but he also subjects to his authorization ongoing measures which have already been taken against them and which are based on documents sent by prosecutors.

Eduardo Knapp - 27.jul.2017/Folhapress
Brazilian Judge Sergio Moro
Brazilian Judge Sergio Moro

The decision, which complied with a request from the Federal Prosecution Office, shields informers and companies against the siege of other control bodies. For prosecutors, the measure is required to prevent the legal uncertainty created by the lack of coordination among the various control bodies from discouraging new informers, affecting the fight against corruption.

In several cases reviewed by Moro's decision, information shared by Car Wash was obtained before the affected companies and their executives cooperated with investigations.

"Despite the fact that the sharing of evidence to be used in the civil and administrative sphere is imperative, since it serves public interest, we must protect informers or lenient companies against excessive penalties by other public bodies, under penalty of discouraging the very execution of such agreements," wrote the judge.

Moro admits that there is no case law on the matter in Brazil and resorts to American law to establish the grounds for his opinion, claiming that in the United States "the use of the evidence collected through plea bargain agreements against informers in civil and criminal proceedings is prohibited."

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

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