Judge Absolves Lula and Dilma in "PT Gang" Case

Decision signed by Brasilia judge, Marcus Vinicius Reis Bastos

São Paulo

A federal court summarily acquitted former presidents Lula and Dilma, as well as former ministers Antonio Palocci Filho and Guido Mantega, and João Vaccari Neto, in a case concerning the so-called "PT gang."

Judge Marcus Vinicius Reis Bastos of the 12th District Court signed decision. According to him, the complaint was an attempt to criminalize political activity.

Former presidents Lula and Dilma Rouseff in São Paulo. (Foto: Danilo Verpa/Folhapress) - Folhapress

The charge was received in 2017 by the Attorney General's Office, at the time headed by Rodrigo Janot. The case initially proceeded to the Federal Supreme Court, since one of the targets was then-Senator Gleisi Hoffmann (PT-PR).

"The initial accusation attempts to describe numerous autonomous criminal offenses without revealing the existence of a stable, orderly structure and coordinated action of the accused, which are characteristic traits of a criminal organization. Simply put, there is no evidence of any crime," said the judge in the decision.

The complaint was based, among other elements, on testimony statements made during Operation Lava Jato, such as those from Odebrecht, JBS, and former directors of Petrobras.

In October of this year, the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office requested the summary acquittal of former presidents and former ministries.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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