“Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva [commonly known as Lula, who led Brazil between 2003 and 2011,] showed on Wednesday that his political career is far from over.”
“Last Monday, a justice of Brazil’s Supreme Court annulled Lula’s two bribery convictions, clearing the way for the former president to run in the 2022 elections and challenge the far-Right president Jair Bolsonaro. “.
“Declaring himself “the victim of the biggest judicial lie told in the country’s 500-year history”, Lula went on to describe the suffering he endured in prison”.
“Lula was sentenced to 26 years after being convicted of accepting bribes from Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned, multinational oil company, in two separate corruption and money-laundering cases.”
“He was investigated as part of the largest anti-corruption effort in Brazil’s history, Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato), which was led by a mega taskforce from the federal police’s Curitiba branch.”
“Lula’s conviction and subsequent arrest prevented him from running in the 2018 presidential elections, which took place six months after his sentencing. While sitting in jail, Lula still led Bolsonaro in the polls, with many harbouring suspicions that his arrest was engineered to ensure a Bolsonaro victory.”
“However, the situation changed in mid-2019, just six months into Bolsonaro’s presidency and Moro’s new role. On 9 June, the online publication The Intercept Brasil, led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, began publishing a series of leaked messages exchanged on Telegram between figures involved in the taskforce. Many of them seemed to suggest that Judge Moro communicated frequently with prosecutors and that he even counselled the team behind Lula’s corruption charges.”
“Even before The Intercept’s bombshell revelations, jurists often pointed out the inconsistencies and contradictions in the case against Lula. In the eyes of his supporters, Lula was a political prisoner, and inspired the Free Lula movement (Lula Livre). “