The Defense of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva informed the 13th Federal Criminal Court of Curitiba today of its disagreement with the conduction of their client’s interrogation through video conference. The testimony must be heard in person, as the court had already defined in Criminal Proceeding No. 5046512-94.2016.4.04.7000. The filed petition listed six legal reasons that sustain the request for Lula to testify in person:

 

“1 – Article 185 of the Code of Criminal Procedure sets out that the accused shall appear “before the judicial authority” to exercise his right of defense. The law, then, assures the accused of his right to be interrogated by the case’s judge personally;

2 – The interrogation through video conference is exceptional and only admitted in the case of detained defendants and as long as the situation suits any of the events provided in paragraph 2 of mentioned Article 185 of the Code of Criminal Procedure – which is not present in the concrete case;

3 – The Federal Supreme Court has already set down that “The perception gained from physical presence cannot be compared with the virtual one, given the greater possibility of participation and the fact that in the former it is, at least potentially, much wider” (Habeas Corpus 88,914/SP, Rapporteur: Justice Cezar Peluso);

4 – No claim regarding “unnecessary expenses” is legally valid for changing the rule for in-person testimonies established in the law;

5 – The accused has already given several testimonies — in Sao Paulo (SP), Sao Bernardo do Campo (SP), Brasilia (DF) and Curitiba (PR) — and only in Criminal Proceeding No.5046512-94.2016.4.04.7000, by order of the Court, it involved an exceptional security apparatus;

6 – There isn’t any concrete element able to justify the change of the requirement for in-person testimonies already adopted by this Court in said Criminal Proceeding No. 5046512-94.2016.4.04.7000.”

 

The defense also informed the court of its intention to make an independent recording of the testimony, as allowed by Article 367 of Law No. 13,105/2015 combined with Article 3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Cristiano Zanin Martins