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Lula’s Legal Team Rejects Politicized Corruption Allegations

teleSUR | September 6, 2017

Faced with formal accusations of criminal conduct and corruption, former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has struck back through his legal team, maintaining that the politicized allegations are an attack on Brazil’s legal order and democracy itself.

“The latest allegations are a complete fabrication, politically motivated in spite of growing international outrage of the behavior of parts of the judiciary, and timed to influence the democratic will of Brazilians,” attorneys Cristiano Zanin Martins and Valeska Teixeira Zanin Martins said in a statement released on behalf of their client, Lula.

“We will fight these ludicrous, unsubstantiated claims with rigor using all legal avenues open to us,” the lawyers maintained.

Lula’s legal team added that the accusations are tantamount to political persecution, signaling the clear danger that the popular former head of state will have his rights violated in kangaroo court-style proceedings. Such a process would be a clear breach Brazil’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to a fair trial – a right backed by international law.

“The decision by the attorney general is another attack on Brazilian democracy. The country is facing a real threat to the basic rule of law and democracy itself. This legal battle is bigger than one person, it is a fight for the very future of Brazil,” the statement concluded.

Brazilian Attorney General Rodrigo Janot accused former presidents Lula and Dilma Rousseff, along with several other leaders of the Workers’ Party, or PT, of forming a criminal organization to divert money from the state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, to the tune of $US475 million through a corruption scheme involving construction conglomerate Odebrecht.

“The indictment written by the Attorney General’s Office accusing me, along with the PT, of belonging to a criminal organization is a document that seems to have been hastily assembled and based exclusively on statements from bribed informants,” Rousseff said in a statement. She added that the groundless allegations seem to have no basis in evidence, but are based on suppositions, specious claims and spurious inferences taken as facts.

“The ‘charges’ rely on fabricated lies – some quite old – which seem to have been unearthed and reanimated in order to divert attention from the actual recordings,” she added, a reference to scandalous audio recordings of President Michael Temer urging that witnesses in the scandal be bribed. “The informants themselves say that in order to be found innocent or win a reduced sentence, they will say what the prosecutors want to hear.”

Rousseff added that a section of Brazil’s press has allowed itself to become an accomplice to the forces of corruption and to distract the public from the erosion of ethics and morality among ruling elites on the very same day that Brazilian police found US$16 million cash in an apartment allegedly used by Geddel Vieira, a former cabinet member in the Temer government.

“Justice and truth will always triumph,” she concluded, expressing her confidence in the court’s ability to see justice through and expose the lack of evidence in the indictment leveled by the attorney general.

The accusations come on the heels of Lula’s 20-day Caravan of Hope bus tour through Brazil’s northeast, a base of support for the PT, where he was enthusiastically greeted by crowds numbering in the tens of thousands who are opposed to the Temer government and its neoliberal agenda.

September 7, 2017 - Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | ,

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