Former Brazilian Presidents Lula and Rousseff Charged with Stealing US$ 470 Million from Oil Giant Petrobras

    Former Brazilian presidents Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

    The Brazilian Attorney General, Rodrigo Janot, has accused former presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, along with several other leaders of the Workers’ Party, or PT, of taking part in a criminal organization to divert money from the state-controlled oil company, Petrobras.

    The accusations came just hours after Lula ended his “caravan of hope” around the impoverished Northeast of Brazil with a mass rally in the city of São Luis.

    Lula and his supporters have long rejected the various cases against him as fabrications, aimed at stopping him from standing in presidential elections due next year.

    Lula told the crowd at his closing rally that, “if they think that they just need to get rid of Lula and everything will be alright, they are making a big mistake.” He said there are already millions who think like Lula.

    “They should realize that Lula now represents an idea, the idea that the people can and want to live well,” he said.

    The accusations brought by Janot relate to alleged bribes between the Workers Party-led government and Petrobras, with the Attorney General saying that much of the operations were headed by Lula. The prosecutors insist that Workers Party officials pocketed US$ 475 million in bribe money

    Among the other accused are former ministers Fazenda Antonio Palocci and Guido Mantega, Gleisi Hoffmann, a Workers Party President, and her husband, former communications minister Paulo Bernardo, and former Workers Party treasurers João Vaccari and Edinho Silva, who is the current mayor of Araraquara.

    The accused have 15 days to formally reply to the accusations.

    The case will then go to the Supreme Court judge leading the sprawling Car Wash corruption scandal, and then to a panel of Supreme Court judges. They will decide whether to accept the accusations in full or in part. Only then will the accused be formally charged. Alternatively, the judges could decide to shelve the case.

    A representative of Rousseff has said that the Attorney General has offered no evidence to support the allegations, and Lula’s lawyer has said that the accusations are abusing the law to persecute the popular former President and social leader.

    Caravan of Hope

    Lula’s Caravan of Hope — a 20-day bus tour through Brazil’s northeast heartland to nine states and dozens of speeches, radio interviews and public events — came to an end late Tuesday.

    The last leg of the journey involved a public event alongside Flavio Dino, the governor of Maranhão state and member of the Communist Party of Brazil. He welcomed Lula to the Palace of Lions, the official governor’s residence.

    Lula said that he embarked on the caravan to “talk to the people,” even as he awaits an appeal of judge Sergio Moro’s decision to sentence him to nine years and six months over corruption allegations in the Operation Car Wash investigations.

    The ruling will decide whether Lula, who leads all polls, will be allowed to run for president in 2018.

    During the caravan, he defended the Workers Party’s 14 years in office, its advancements in hunger-reduction, housing and education to name a few, and criticized previous right-wing governments whose achievements over the past 500 years pale in comparison.

    Lula was condemned by Moro for passive corruption crimes and money laundering. However, prison time was not applied as the prosecution awaits the ruling on the appeal.

    His legal defense argued that “No credible evidence of guilt has been produced, and overwhelming proof of his innocence was blatantly ignored. This politically motivated judgment attacks Brazil’s rule of law, democracy and Lula’s basic human rights.”

    Harshly criticizing Moro’s decision to convict Lula, Paulo Pimenta, congressperson for the Worker’s Party, emphatically stated that next year’s presidential election “will not be tolerated, nor permitted” without Lula as a candidate. 0

    teleSUR

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    • Show Comments (1)

    • Greg

      I am a Canadian by birth. My wife is Brazilian. Naturally we try to follow the political situation in Brazil. My perspective comes from an Anglo Saxon Parliamentary system of government. I believe even though I have self interest with my wife being Brazilian, I am much more objective in my views regarding Brazil.

      My heart absolutely breaks and I feel so much sympathy and empathy with the Brazilian people. Brazil is a great Nation. There are very few other countries in this world where the people are harder working, more down to earth and more deserving of a future blessed with all that can be possible in the 21st Century.

      Sadly, the common person in Brazil does not see their inherent blessings, historical greatness and pride nor the fruitful future possible still! Brazil is a country which possess’s some of the most amazing and God given natural beauty, richness and potential. Brazil could be a microcosm of the Garden of Eden. The Brazilian people have hearts and soul’s filled with passion, humility and love.

      Unfortunately the government of Brazil has not been honest or truthful to the Brazilian people. Democracy in Brazil has been subverted and corrupted to a point where it may not be possible to save Brazil from implosion.

      Lula is a thief and criminal, Dilma Rousseff is his protege, people like PT party member Hoffmann are traitors to the people of Brazil. They have become rich on the agony, pain and illness of the Brazilian people. They are no better than the slave owners of the past Portuguese overseers.

      The people of Brazil deserve better. They have NOT failed Brazil. Brazil has failed her people. American styled politics will NEVER work in Brazil. They need a Parliamentary system of representative government which will eradicate this thinking of “if I can get rich by any means then it is my democratic right to do so. Only in a Parliamentary. Monarchist based government is there any hope to save Brazil’s future from communistic, socialistic anarchy. Brazil has something no other south american country has. They have a direct link to a Monarchy. At one time they were on equal par with the greatest Nations on Earth. Republicanism has destroyed this and replaced a perceived corrupt Monarchy with a corrupt cast of thousands if not more criminals, raping and pillaging Brazil for their own profit. How could a Monarchy be any worse? It cannot be. A representative Parliamentary monarchist based government would stabilise the Nation and renew the pride of Brazilian’s all over the world.

      It can be done. If God is truly Brazilian it could be done. If the Brazilian people will only open their eyes to reality and cooperate with each other and put their Country first instead of following liars and cheaters may yet be done.

      It is true that we do not appreciate our blessings and gifts in life until we lose them. Brazilian people fight to regain your blessings and true freedom!

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