13 April 2017.
Last night Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin authorized investigations into 9 sitting ministers, 24 senators, 39 deputies and 3 governors. According to a report published on Tuesday by O Estado de Sao Paulo some 108 politicians will be implicated in this corruption trial. Fachin lifted the secrecy on plea bargain testimony from 77 employees of construction giant Odebrecht, which has admitted paying millions of dollars in bribes within Brazil and in other countries. Testimony of Odebrecht employees resulted in court order of 83 of the investigations.
There is no surprise in this. This was waiting to happen. The corruption was going on for far too long – probably two decades and too many people were involved. The public knew about it. Those holding political office can be investigated only by the supreme court. There are many more who will be investigated by lower courts.
Southern state capital judge Sergio Moro, who was little known at that time, started the operation car was (Lava Jato in Portuguese) investigations into moneys stolen from the oil giant Petrobras and its contractors in the construction industries. Lava Jato caused the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff on the frivolous grounds of breaking budgetary laws. The names of former presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff did not appear in Fachin List because they no longer hold elected office and do not have judicial immunity.
Former president, Dilma Rousseff, was on the Petrobras board of directors from 2003 to 2010. She has never been directly accused of corruption in operation car wash. There was corruption in Petrobras during her watch and it is believed that she was aware of the corruption. Last year, leaked recordings involving Temer allies revealed that their real motive to impeach her was her unwillingness to protect them from investigation.
Judge Sergio Moro himself is seen to be deliberately targeting the Left PT (Workers ‘party). Doubts about the neutrality of his judiciary has also surfaced. The Rio de Janeiro state branch of the Order of Brazilian Lawyers criticized Moro for his selective leaking of news to media.
Presidential election is due next year. These investigations will have an unsettling effect on the coming elections.
Brazil: Widest ever corruption probe
13 April 2017.