A judge from the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) on Tuesday suspended two investigations into former President Lula da Silva at the Federal Court in Brasília, as part of the Lava Jato operation.
The decision was taken by magistrate Ricardo Lewandowski and concerns the processes that investigate donations by the Odebrecht construction company to the Lula Institute and the purchase of land for the Institute’s headquarters and an apartment in São Bernardo do Campo, in the state of São Paulo.
With the suspension, the judge prevents the cases from being resumed, after the decision of the Supreme Court that considered the justice of Curitiba incompetent to prosecute and judge the cases involving former president Lula and considering the then judge of Lava Jato Sergio Moro partial in the condemnation of the historic leader of the Workers’ Party (PT).
In practice, the decision, with a provisional character, in addition to holding new steps, prevents the use of investigations that had already been carried out in the processes involving the former president.
Lewandowski noted that, although the accusation on the Lula Institute headquarters has not yet been ratified, “it is clear that when the STF declared the incompetence of former judge Sergio Moro to judge Lula da Silva, it also implicitly acknowledged , the incompetence of Lava Jato members responsible for the investigations and, at the end, for the filing of the complaint.”
Lewandowski thus responded to a request from Lula’s defense and his decision will remain in effect until the Supreme Court decides definitively whether or not to close the investigations against the former head of state.
Lula’s defense argued that, although the STF had decided that all procedural acts taken by the 13th Court of Curitiba were null and void and nothing could be reused, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) in Brasília had been presenting demonstrations calling for the reuse of material.
Ricardo Lewandowski’s decision was commemorated on the social network Twitter by the PT’s national president, Gleisi Hoffmann.
“Important decision of the STF (…), to avoid the reopening of actions against Lula that have already been annulled. Impressive as ‘lavajatistas’ [integrantes da Lava Jato] they try to evade justice with baseless accusations. Following the law and respecting the law was never their method,” wrote Gleisi Hoffmann.
So far, Lula da Silva has already won 19 victories in court since 2016. This Tuesday, a handwritten letter was released by the former president of the construction company OAS, Leo Pinheiro, in which he backed down on the accusations he made against Lula da Silva in his winning denunciation (legal benefit granted to a defendant who agrees to collaborate in the criminal investigation) with Lava Jato.
The contractor’s letter was one of the elements that caused the investigation that accused Lula of corruption and influence peddling, with the Costa Rican Government, to be filed, adding to Lula’s 19th victory in court.
The shelving of the process also paves the way for a possible candidacy for President Lula da Silva in October 2022, for which opinion polls place him as the favorite, ahead of the current President, Jair Bolsonaro, his greatest political opponent.