The former Minister Tarso Genro restated in his new testimony given today (06/12) to the 13th Federal Criminal Court of Curitiba that he knows Lula enough to say that the former President “would never accept any kind of undue advantages derived from reciprocal exchanges, due to his presidential office”. He disqualified the previous statement made by Pedro Corrêa, who used photos taken with the former President while in a Political Council meeting with the purpose of insinuating that he was close to Lula. Genro declared that the invitation to become a member of the council neither came from Lula and nor happened due to a closeness to the former President, but due to the institutional position of the political leaders. The former Minister was involved in the Council’s foundation, an organization designed for institutionalizing political relations.
Tarso Genro said that Lula’s administration promoted the improvement of institutions which focused on fighting corruption with the former President’s direct orientation so that the investigation procedures happened within the law – this was the “principle that guided an ethical attitude”. He also stated that, as Minister of Justice, he never heard of any misapplication of funds at Petrobras.
The testimonies of José Paulo Assis, former Expansion Manager of the oil company, who signed the Repar contract discussed in the proceeding, and Mário Márcio Castrillon de Aquino, who was an employee at Petrobras for 36 years and a member of the Standards Committee, were equally enlightening. They stated that all the contracts complied with all the company’s effective rules and patterns. They also reported that all the contract process regarding Repar was brought about by several technicians of different areas of the oil company, with the legal department’s suretyship. The prices were always attentive to the limits accepted by the company and its biddings. Both questioned the conclusions presented in a report of an internal assessment commission, founded in 2014, which were used by the Federal Attorney’s Office to question them. Neither of them even recognized statements in the material which were attributed to them, such as the statement that the contracts considered election schedules. Actually, Assis declared he was not even heard by the commission and never had access to their conclusions.
The Federal Attorney’s Office’s attempt to reduce Petrobras into an easily manipulated and subject to undue interference company does not correspond with the truth. The truth points to another direction, bearing in mind that the company has always had appropriate control instruments for obstructing unlawful activities. Thus, the idea of a widespread corruption scheme, led by high-rank officers, is challenged when the facts seem to increasingly indicate specific areas of unlawful activities, which were not detected by the thorough control system the company had at the time.
Cristiano Zanin Martins