Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was acquitted today (July 12) of the charges of obstruction of justice (Article 2, Paragraph 1, Law no. 12,850/2013). The judgment was rendered by Judge Ricardo Augusto Soares Leite of the 10th Federal Criminal Court of Brasília.

The Judge acknowledged that “there is not enough evidence to support any allegation of criminal conduct” on the part of Lula, ruling out the accusation that Lula allegedly tried to prevent or change the plea bargain testimony of Nestor Cerveró, a former Petrobras director.

Former President Lula’s defense has always proved that the charge was based on a version that Delcídio do Amaral made up in order to obtain benefits in a plea bargain agreement signed with the Federal Attorney’s Office. During the procedure, Cerveró, as well as the other witnesses – prosecution and defense witnesses –, never confirmed any participation of Lula in acts that had the purpose of interfering in the plea bargain agreement of the oil company’s former director.

The Prosecution recognized the lack of evidence of guilt and also requested Lula’s acquittal in their closing arguments.

The judgment of acquittal entered for Lula today proves once again the illegal nature of the decisions that convicted him in the triplex case. While the Judge from Brasília, impartially, refused to accept Delcídio do Amaral’s plea bargain testimony as evidence, due to the lack of supporting elements, the Judge from Curitiba granted absolute value to the testimony of a co-defendant and unofficial informer in order to convict Lula.

We hope that justice prevails in the triplex case too so that Lula can be completely free and the judgment of conviction rendered solely based on the testimony of a co-defendant, who was interested in closing a deal with the Federal Attorney’s Office in exchange for benefits, can be reversed.

CRISTIANO ZANIN MARTINS