The defense of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva filed a writ of habeas corpus yesterday (June 1, 2017) against the unlawful action of the Judge of the 13th Federal Criminal Court of Curitiba who arbitrarily denied the production of evidence requested during the stage which Article 402 of the Code of Criminal Procedure refers to, in the record of the Criminal Proceeding no. 5046512-94.2016.4.04.7000/PR (the three-story apartment’s case). The denial occurred in spite of the judge himself admitting that controversies have come up during the production of evidence.

Such decision characterizes criminal coercion once the need to produce the latest evidence has been duly proved by the defense on May 11, 2017, when it was proved that the necessity of those requests aroused from facts and/or circumstances which came up throughout said production of evidence. Nevertheless, on May 5, 2017, the judge denied it without reasonable or sufficient grounds.

It is unacceptable that the judge restricts the defense, declaring he has already “heard too many testimonies about the three-story apartment and its renovation, and there is no need to hear others in that regard”, a declaration that is incompatible with the Brazilian procedural system and the guarantee of a fair hearing.

The production of pertinent and useful evidence by the defendant in a criminal proceeding solidifies the most fundamental and undeniable right to the defense, to the adversary proceeding and the due legal procedure, constitutionally safeguarded among us.

It is noticeable that the process of said action happened hastily and unlawfully, due to (i) the receipt of unsuitable and causeless complaint; (ii) the denial of evidence demanded as a reply to the accusation; (iii) the denial of evidence and questions made during production of evidence hearings; and (iv) the judge’s bias; (v) the non-observance of the guarantee of equality of arms throughout the production of evidence, besides the short amount of time given to the technical defense and self-defense to examine the documents which were filed by the opposing party minutes before the interrogation.

Lula’s defense requests the testimonies of new witnesses, the inclusion of documents and the production of expert evidence – the latter in order to disprove that any amount resulting from the three contracts mentioned in the complaint signed by Petrobras and OAS has favored Lula directly or indirectly.

Cristiano Zanin Martins