Behind the News

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Found Guilty on Corruption and Money-Laundering Charges

Lula was just sentenced to almost 10 years in prison on bogus charges, in a political system that is up to its ears in corruption. My guest, Alfredo Saad Filho, has a lot to say about the whole story, including the indictment of the current president, Michel Temer. But we did the interview yesterday, before Lula’s sentencing. ASF wrote this update for me to read on the show:

“The inevitable has finally happened. The charade of the Lavajato (carwash) corruption investigations is coming to its conclusion. No one is in favour of corruption, and no one can be against prosecuting corrupt politicians. But Lavajato – the biggest corruption investigation in history, far exceeding the Italian Clean Hands operation in the early 1990s – was always about persecuting the Brazilian Workers’ Party and putting its leaders and largest donors in jail.

The ultimate prize was always going to be former President Lula. Judge Sergio Moro has chased after Lula with the utmost determination. He arrested numerous politicians and businessmen, looking for plea bargains. He learned this technique from the US Justice Department. But the only plea bargains he would accept would be those incriminating the PT. Do this, or stay in jail indefinitely. The outcome is that Lula was found guilty on the basis of no proof at all, other than the depositions of people already in prison and seeking a way out. This is the sum total of the case.

Lula is now guilty. If he does not appeal, he goes to jail for nine and a half years. If he appeals and loses, he may or may not go to jail (he can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court), but he becomes automatically unable to run for elections. And Lula is the natural candidate of the Workers’ Party in 2018 and, today, he has the highest poll ratings by far.

This sentence is a political maneuver. And Judge Moro will not be around to bear the consequences: he has applied for leave to move to the USA for at least one year. Job done, goodbye.”

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