In Court, Lula Claims Innocence and Talks About a 3-year Massacre to Destroy Him

    Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva making a speech -

    Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has appeared in court to deny allegations he was part of a plot to obstruct a massive corruption probe by keeping a former Petrobras executive from revealing what he knew.

    News media websites in Brazil published the testimony by Lula, who told a federal court in Brasília that he didn’t even know Nestor Cerveró, a former director of the state oil company.

    Petrobras is at the center of a wide-ranging investigation into kickbacks and inflated contracts at state companies. Cerveró was convicted in connection with the probe and is cooperating with prosecutors.

    Prosecutors allege that Lula and several others plotted to offer Cerveró money to keep him from giving evidence to authorities.

    “I have absolutely no reason to have any problem with the testimony of Cerveró — no reason at all. I don’t know (him),” Lula said, according to a video provided by the court.

    At the beginning of nearly an hour of testimony, Lula was asked if he was familiar with the accusations against him and whether they were true. He responded: “The information is false.”

    Lula, who was president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, is also facing charges in a handful of other cases linked to the probe.

    He has maintained his innocence in all of them, saying the allegations are politically motivated. Despite these legal challenges, Lula is leading some polls for next year’s presidential election.

    The former president occasionally appeared emotional, frustrated or even angry during his testimony. He made several self-aggrandizing claims, including that his presidency turned Brazil into a major player on the world stage.

    He also mentioned that he is considered the most important president in Brazil’s history and that Brazilians see him as the most important world leader of the beginning of the 21st century.

    He contrasted these successes with the indignity of seeing headlines every day claiming that some business executive or politician was going to level a new accusation against him. “For about three years now, I have been the victim of, I would say, almost a massacre,” he said.

    The Petrobras probe has grown into the biggest graft investigation in Brazil’s history and has shocked the nation for the scale of corruption it has revealed. Prosecutors have relied heavily on signing plea bargains with certain defendants to make cases against others.

    Federal police arrested two Rio de Janeiro state officials on charges of money laundering and accepting bribes in exchange for contracts for a subway line for the 2016 Olympic Games.

    The arrests of Luiz Carlos Velloso, the state’s undersecretary for tourism and former deputy secretary of transportation, and Heitor Lopes de Souza, a director for Rio’s subway operator, are part of the larger Petrobras probe.

    Mercopress

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    US vice president Joe Biden meets Michel Temer in New York - Beto Barata/PR

    How the Washington Regime Change Machine Was Able to Oust Brazil’s President Rousseff

    Washington’s regime change machinery has for the time being succeeded in removing an important ...

    Lula Says Brazil Is Serious About Fighting Corruption

    Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, speaking at the opening of the IV ...

    Dilma Rousseff being grilled by senators - Marcelo Camargo ABr

    Too Much Honesty and Not Enough Friends Brought Brazil’s President Down

    Personally incorruptible, unlike her nemeses, Dilma Rousseff was impeached and dismissed on the flimsiest ...

    Protester with sign: No You Can't

    Brazilians Go to the Streets to Shout Against Corrupts: “No, You Can’t”

    In Brazil, Independence Day commemorations this September 7, in Brazilian capital Brasília with the ...

    Brazilian congressman Jair Messias Bolsonaro - Antonio Cruz/ABr

    Known as the Myth, Jair Bolsonaro Is Brazil’s Version of Donald Trump

    On April 4, Christian Social Party congressman Jair Messias Bolsonaro gave a racially charged ...

    President Michel Temer in the Air Force helicopter - Beto Barata/PR

    Brazil President Buys Time in Effort to Avoid Impeachment

    A key coalition partner has delayed its decision on continued support, but Brazilian President ...

    Brazilian street protestors carry a Rousseff doll

    Brazil’s President Knows She Lost. And Already Started Moving Out of Brasília

    The Brazilian Senate has opened the impeachment trial of suspended President Dilma Rousseff hear ...

    Congress of young evangelicals - RBC

    Brazilian Gangs Are Now Waging Their War in the Name of God

    The expression “evangelical drug trafficker” may sound incongruous, but in Rio de Janeiro, it’s ...

    Michel Temer and Eduardo Cunha

    Taped Talk Shows Brazil President Approving Hush Money. Opposition Wants Impeachment

    On March 7, at around 10:30 p.m., businessman Joesley Batista entered the Brazilian presidential ...