Federal judge Sergio Moro decided to leave Operation Car Wash and accept president-elect Jair Bolsonaro's offer to lead a turbocharged version of the Ministry of Justice starting January.
Bolsonaro personally invited Moro on Thursday (1st) morning, in Rio de Janeiro. Judge Moro flew from Curitiba, where he lives, to meet with Bolsonaro and his economic advisor Paulo Guedes.
Moro will have to resign from his posting at Paraná Federal Court, an act that he said he will do "with some regret." Previously, the judge had said several times that he would never go into politics.
In a statement, Moro said that the perspective on being tougher on corruption and organized crime, and consolidate his work in the corruption probe led to his decision to accept Bolsonaro's offer.
Bolsonaro plans to join the ministry of Justice with the departments of Public Security, Transparency, the Comptroller General of the Union, along with the Council for Financial Activities Control, a department created to fight money laundering and that until now was subordinated to the Ministry of Finance. The five departments would form another of Bolsonaro's "superministries".
Moro is considered to be a hardline judge because of his Carwash rulings. He was the one who sent big names in Brazilian politics and business to jail, like Marcelo Odebrecht, former president Lula and former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha.
By reshaping the Ministry of Justice, Bolsonaro intends to reinforce his message on public security and a crackdown on corruption.
During his first TV interviews as president-elect, on Monday (29th), Bolsonaro said he wanted to have Moro either as Minister of Justice or as president of the Brazilian Supreme Court. Paulo Guedes, Bolsonaro's economic advisor, started to court Moro for the Ministry of Justice position during the electoral campaign.
Translated by NATASHA MADOV
Read the article in the original language