The final submission in the appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) was lodged yesterday by the legal team of the former President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. It asserted that the Brazilian state had continued to abuse his human rights in a manner that allows him no legal remedy in Brazil.

The complaint includes additional evidence on the actions of the Regional Federal Court of the 4th Region (TRF-4) in Porto Alegre. The submission provided evidence of the unfairness of the appeal hearing that confirmed Lula’s conviction. It pointed out that the Chief Judge of the said court, Appellate Judge Carlos Eduardo Thompson Flores Lenz, had shown himself to be utterly biased by approving of Judge Moro’s decision as “impeccable” in advance of the hearing, besides supporting his Chief of Staff, Daniela Kreling Lau, who posted on Facebook demands that Lula be imprisoned.  The submission also questions the fact that the federal prosecutor was seated next to the judges and appeared to be a member of the appeal court and that the judges had written and typed their judgments before hearing the oral arguments of the defense. For these, and other reasons the petition to the United Nations Human Rights Committee contends that the hearing that convicted Lula was biased.

The evidence submitted illustrates how President Lula’s basic legal rights have continued to be abused including, how the appeal hearing was anything but a fair and open, how judges from outside the TRF-4 jurisdiction attempted to interfere in the process and how the overwhelming evidence of Lula’s innocence was ignored.

The complaint shows that the Brazilian judiciary system has taken no effective measure to stop these violations in the 18 months since the petition was originally submitted to the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Committee).  In addition to that, the judiciary has not observed the presumption of innocence.  That is, the violations by the judicial system first outlined to the United Nations in the July 2016 petition continue and it is clear that former President Lula has exhausted all of his domestic legal remedies.

The new submission by former UN appeal judge, Human Rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC, Cristiano Zanin Martins and Valeska Teixeira Zanin Martins, Lula’s lawyers, is additional to the evidence submitted in 2016 and 2017.

The UN Human Rights Committee has been asked to rule that TRF-4, Judge Sergio Moro and the “Car Wash” Federal Prosecutors have violated Lula’s rights to privacy, right to a fair trial, freedom from arbitrary arrest, the right to freedom of movement and right to be presumed innocent until found guilty. Previous evidence submitted to the UNHRC focused on the leaking of confidential material to the media, the unlawful issue of a bench warrant, illegal disclosure of telephone intercepts, use of indeterminate pre-trial detention against “Car Wash” suspects, obtaining plea bargains and numerous examples of the prosecutors and Judge Moro’s pronounced bias against Lula.

Citing precedents from previous decisions of the UNHRC and from other international courts, the petition maintains that under international law, TRF-4 and Judge Moro, by virtue of their pronounced lack of impartiality and by the fact that they already been found to have committed a number of unlawful acts against Lula, are irredeemably biased and therefore must not be permitted to order his arrest or continue with the trial.

Lula vehemently denies the claims against him but is not opposed to be investigated in a fair and open manner. Prosecutors have presented no evidence against Lula despite an investigating lasting over four years and any fair trial would have recognized this. The petition sets out reasons why such strategies violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, whose supra-legal status, which is given by Article 5 of the Constitution of Brazil, ensures the protection of all citizens.

The petition filed before the UN on July 28, 2016 and registered by the HRC n October 2016 is the first ever taken against Brazil, which ratified the Committee’s protocol in 2009. It has been prepared by former president Lula’s legal advisers, Cristiano Zanin Martins and Valeska Teixeira Martins with the assistance of a former UN appeal judge, Human Rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC. The UN Committee is comprised of 18 distinguished jurists drawn from a cross-section of countries (including Italy, France, United States of America, Germany, Argentina and United Kingdom.)