As attorneys for former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, we filed today (08/24) the answer to the charges related to Criminal Proceeding No. 5021365-32.2017.4.04.7000, which is pending before the 13th Criminal Court of Curitiba. On the same occasion we filed the jurisdictional plea, since there is no legal reason for the proceeding to be processed before such judicial body, and also a motion to recuse the judge in view of the numerous and serious facts involving Federal Judge Sérgio Fernando Moro that makes it clear that he lacks impartiality to judge former President Lula.

Lula is charged with bribe solicitation and money laundering because, according to the complaint, he allegedly received, in a dissimulated manner, undue advantages from the companies Odebrecht and OAS, which consisted of renovations carried out in a country house located in Atibaia (State of São Paulo) that were supposedly payed with funds derived from seven contracts signed between those contractors and Petrobras – of which four were signed with Odebrecht and three with OAS. The renovations purportedly involved, according to the complaint, funds derived from the contract signed between the company Schahin and Petrobras for the construction of the drillship Vitória 1000.

The aforementioned answer points out, among other things, that also in this criminal action there is no minimal element that allows hypothesizing that Lula committed any of the crimes referred by the prosecution body, without cause for it to proceed, because:

1 – The crime of requesting bribes (Criminal Code, Article 317) implies that the public official is led to do or omit to do any act proper to his official duty (official act) in exchange of undue advantages. Nevertheless:

1.1. The Car Wash Task Force did not point out any action within the scope of work of the President of Brazil (i.e. official act) that Lula had taken or failed to take that could be related to the renovations conducted in 2009 in a country house in Atibaia and, much less, in 2014, period when he held no official position;

1.2. The power to appoint and retain Petrobras Officers are exclusively up to the company’s Board of Directors to decide on, according to the Law of Corporations and, also, to the oil company’s Bylaws, and not to the Presidency of Brazil;

1.3. Roberto Costa, Nestor Cerveró and Renato Duque were career employees of Petrobras and were appointed to the positions of the company’s officers by unanimous decisions made by the Board of Directors, that is, also by the advisors elected by minority shareholders and employees;

1.4. Such former Petrobras Officers were already heard by Judge Sérgio Moro and never confirmed any action taken by Lula in the detriment of Petrobras or that could be related to the offenses pointed out in the complaint;

2 – The very complaint informs (page 112 and footnote 410) that the ownership regarding the country house in Atibaia should still be under investigation; in other words, it acknowledges that the Car Wash Task Force did not have enough elements to file the complaint against Lula. The same pleading, however, in completely contradicting and accuses the former President in an unexplainable manner of being “de facto owner” of the country property and of having benefitted from the renovations made in the estate;

2.1. The police investigation instituted on 06/19/2016 to investigate the ownership of the property (Criminal Investigation #0184/2016-4) was completed without any conclusion regarding the topic with the justification that “the complaint was filed by the Federal Attorney’s Office against LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA” and, because of that, “it is not for this authority , when it comes to preliminary assessment, to proceed with such investigations anymore”, according to Chief of Federal Police Dante Pegoraro Lemos — acknowledging that, in order to bring charges against Lula, the Car Wash Task Force from Curitiba trampled on the investigations;

3 – The Car Wash Task Force from Curitiba also states in the complaint that Lula allegedly took on the position of authority in a criminal organization that acted to the detriment of Petrobras, although the Federal Attorney General had requested the institution of the investigation at the Federal Supreme Court to look into such facts (Investigation #4,325), which was not completed yet – violating the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and the head of the Federal Public Prosecution Office only to affront Lula and his history.

It was also stated in the answer that “In regard to the merits of the charges, for now in view of the judge’s partiality, the Defense limits to confirming the innocence of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, which will be definitely acknowledged in a trial carried out by an impartial and independent body”.

See the full pleading HERE. [Available only in Portuguese]