Lula lambastes judge who ordered his trial
There are many who feel the corruption allegations are designed to prevent Lula from running in 2018 presidential elections [Xinhua ]
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has come out swinging against a judge who ordered him to stand trial for allegations of money laundering while in office.
Lula accused anti-corruption judge Sérgio Moro of being politically motivated and said that charges brought against him by federal prosecutors were part of a scheme to discredit him and ruin his career.
On Tuesday, and less than a month after he was indicted on alleged graft charges, Lula was ordered by Moro to stand trial for receiving at least $1 million in kickbacks from Brazilian energy company Petrobras.
Moro first accepted charges filed in July by prosecutors investigating Lula for allegedly “masterminding” a corruption and money laundering operation in Petrobras.
Lula, a hugely popular president who served from 2003 to 2010 and is credited with a number of initiatives that propelled GDP growth and significantly reduced poverty in Brazil, has been under investigation for much of the past year..
“As we were starting to have success in the presidency, they are trying to do with us what they did with Dilma (Rousseff, the former president impeached in August). A part of the press and a part of the judiciary already tried to oust me from the presidency in 2005,” Lula has said.
Last month, Lula and members of his family and three other people had been indicted on a number of charges stemming from alleged financial irregularities, declaration of assets in addition to money laundering and graft.
Some in Brazil believe that the charges and trial are designed to ruin his chances of running in presidential elections in 2018.
In early August, the Vox Populi Institute published a poll which showed Lula would come out the clear winner if he ran for the presidency against a number of likely candidates.
Only 17 per cent of respondents in that poll said they wanted current President Michel Temer to stay on until 2018.
The Vox Populi Institute’s findings appear to support an earlier poll conducted by Datafolha in Brazil.
That poll also showed that Lulu would comfortably win a presidential election. Only five per cent said they would vote for Temer, however.