In the beginning of Agenor Medeiros’s testimony to the 13th Federal Criminal Court of Curitiba, today (5/4), the defense attorneys for Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva pointed out that Operation Car Wash is clearly making a stir to press a plea bargain agenda, on the eve of former President’s testimony to take place on May 10th. Both Léo Pinheiro, former CEO of the company OAS, and Medeiros, former executive officer of the international area of the construction company, confirmed the ongoing negotiations. This implies that other deponents yet to testify – as it is the case of Renato Duque, who will speak before the Court tomorrow – are in the same situation: they act with the intention of obtaining some benefits in exchange for testifying as defendants, and without taking the oath to tell the truth. Medeiros’s testimony, today, happened under these conditions.
Lula’s defense counsel contested the 13th Court Judge for his biased question asked to the defendant Roberto Moreira, former executive officer of OAS Empreendimentos, on the false premise of the alleged “acquisition of the three-story apartment” in Guarujá by the former President. The executive admitted that neither Lula nor his family has never possessed or owned the apartment 164A in Solaris Building. He made reference to a unilateral reservation of the apartment from hearsay at OAS, but which was never confirmed by any of the 73 witnesses heard previously under oath. Employees of the company were among those witnesses.
In spite of the undeniable pressure Agenor Medeiros is facing for the negotiation of a plea bargain, he admitted that he never had contact with Lula, while affirming that he only talked to Léo Pinheiro once, without the presence of any witnesses – and, thus, lacking legal validity – during an international flight in 2014, when the former CEO of OAS allegedly made reference to the apartment in Guarujá.
Paulo Okamotto, president of the Lula Institute, was also heard today and disproved Léo Pinheiro by saying that they never talked to him about the apartment or any renovation carried out in it. He said that he was aware of the share acquired by Mrs. Marisa from Bancoop, since 2016, as he filed the couple’s income tax return and the document contained a reference to that share. In addition, he said that an employee from the commercial area of OAS Empreendimentos went to him in 2012 to ask him if Mrs. Marisa would ask for the refund of the amounts she had invested in her share or if she intended to purchase a unit from OAS using those amounts as part of the payment. As the former President was undertaking a cancer treatment at the time, she chose to not decide anything. Unit 141 was then offered for sale.
Regarding the former President’s collection, Okamotto admitted that he was in charge of taking care of its store. In view of the lack of personal resources and other alternatives, Okamotto said that he talked to Léo Pinheiro and got the cultural support from OAS until he could give the presidential collection a definite destination. The purpose was to have a place where the items could be always displayed to the population, and he continued to look for ways of making it possible.
Cristiano Zanin Martins