The judge Sergio Moro and some of the task force prosecutors have turned the Car Wash into an operation that uses the legal system and the media for the purpose of a political persecution. This is called lawfare.

In the script drawn up by them, they needed to convict former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva even without any crime or evidence, as if the success of the operation was dependent on that.

The interviews given to Folha newspaper by Moro and prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Lima reinforce this affirmation: they make improper references to former President Lula regardless of performing public functions in proceedings related to him. The impersonality of the public official is thrown away for the sake of political judgment.

Discrediting the courts of review, Lima stated that reversing the judgment that convicted Lula would be a consequence “of those silly things people do during the proceeding so it will become null in a higher court”.

What Lima calls “silly things” are gross and blatant violations of fundamental guarantees that even formed the basis of a communication submitted by us to the UN Human Rights Committee, which has already passed the first admissibility phase.

In his closing arguments, Lima and the other members of the Task Force admitted that they were not able to prove the charges brought against Lula in relation to the triplex apartment. They said that the case has “burdensome evidence”. Despite, they insisted in requesting his conviction, as this has always been the foretold outcome.

Moro, in his turn, tried to defend his verdict after criticism from both the national and international legal community increasing each day. He said that it is possible to convict someone based on the word of a witness who “saw something that (sic) implies the person is guilty”.

The theory, in addition to being incompatible with the constitutional guarantee of the presumption of innocence, has also revealed itself to be flawed concerning Lula’s case: none of the 73 witnesses attested any fact that could confirm the charge.

Besides, the documental evidence shows the triplex apartment could not have been transferred to Lula without the proof of payment made to a specific account with the Caixa Econômica Federal bank, which has never happened. The apartment was also mortgaged until 2013.

The truth is Moro convicted Lula after the judge himself having formulated a new accusation, different from the one in the charging instrument, thereby violating the ‘principle of correlation’ between them. He acknowledged Lula did not receive any embezzled money from Petrobras and that he is not the apartment’s owner.

Yet, he convicted the former President based on the version of a single co-defendant and unofficial informer, who admitted having changed his attitude to the subject because of his lawyers’ instructions. The request for access to already documented evidence from this plea bargain was denied.

Moro, like he did in the judgment, also defended his decision to disclose the illegal wiretap of the conversation between Lula and the then President of Brazil.

Even so, the Federal Supreme Court already decided that his conduct was not compatible with the Constitution and made harsh criticism against the judge. It seems that Moro forgot the “apologies” made in 2016 to Justice Teori Zavascki.

Through Lima’s and Moro’s voluntarism, it is possible to identify personal, press and political interests in the case. When a man’s interest is above the duty of the public office he holds, the Rule of Law is placed at risk. We hope the higher courts will fulfill their roles with independence and impartiality. This is enough for Lula’s innocence to be recognized.