(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL 247 NEWS AGENCY)
BIOGRAPHER OF LULA, FERNANDO MORAIS ARGUES WITH MORO DURING TESTIMONY
During testimony as Lula’s witness in the action on the site of Atibaia, journalist and writer Fernando Morais reacted to the reprimand of Judge Sérgio Moro; Fernando Morais said he heard from Bono Vox, singer of U2, that Lula is a kind of Nelson Mandela, because it has the power to unite all races; “This is not a place for advertising,” said Moro; “I do not advertise, I do journalism for my biographies,” Morais said indignantly.
JUNE 11, 2018 AT 14:11 // SIGN UP FOR TV 247
Do Nocaute – On Monday morning, journalist and writer Fernando Morais, editor of Nocaute, gave testimony to Judge Sergio Moro, as a witness to the defense of former President Lula.
Minutes earlier, in the same condition, had deposed former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Both statements were made in the form of videoconference between São Paulo and Curitiba.
In at least two moments the judge obstructed the journalist’s right to speak.
In the first case he declared that the witness was doing “propaganda” for Lula.
Morais was prevented from replying, and could hardly answer: “I do not advertise, I do journalism …”
On the second chance Moro was more explicit.
Morais asked, respectfully: “Does your honor allow me to speak?” I do not even blink, “No!”
One less relevant feature was the fact that only one journalist was circulating in the corridor (in the photo, the reporter when interviewing former President Fernando Henrique, in front of the videoconference room): the representative of Globo. The companions of the other vehicles were sunbathing on the mill, on the sidewalk of the building.
See the video and the transcription of the testimony, recorded by the Justice, and the indication of links on the subject.
Sergio Moro: In this criminal action 50236532, testimony of Mr. Fernando Gomes de Morais.
Mr. Fernando, you were called as a witness in this process and as a witness you have a commitment to justice in answering the truth and the questions you are asked, right?
Fernando Morais: Right.
Moro: I’ll warn you, Mr. Fernando, that if you miss the truth, you will be subject to criminal prosecution, right?
Moro: That said, I will give the floor to the defense of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for questions.
Zanin: Mr. Fernando, good morning.
FM: Good morning.
Zanin: Mr. Fernando, could you briefly tell us about your personal and professional background?
FM: I’ve been a journalist since I was 14, I started a Belo Horizonte, I moved to São Paulo in 1965, when the Mesquita created the Jornal da Tarde. I worked for ten years in Jornal da Tarde, I worked for Veja magazine, I worked for Folha de São Paulo, I worked for TV Cultura and then started to publish my journalistic works in books, either in the form of biographies or in the form of reports of Brazilian and foreign episodes. And I had a brief personal passage for politics. I was a deputy in two terms, I was Secretary of Culture of the State of São Paulo and then Secretary of Education of the State of São Paulo, without abandoning my original professional activity, as a journalist.
Zanin: Of course not. In relation to former President Lula, is there any personal or professional situation that has put you in closer contact with him? Especially after he left the post of President of the Republic?
FM: Yes, I actually knew former President Lula 44 years ago, when he was a worker, a trade unionist, and I was a deputy, I approached him without intimacy with him. I witnessed his first arrest. For one of these curiosities of fate, I ended up witnessing his two prisons.
I did not come to the PT when most of my colleagues went to the PT and I continued in the MDB. After I abandoned politics and during the period when the president presided over the presidency of the Republic, I practically lost contact with him, perhaps because he was not much of a paladin. In his eight years as president, I’ve been to Planalto Palace three times.
Once for a professional interview with him, once, it was International Women’s Day, and Dona Marisa, deceased Dona Marisa, organized an exhibition of the film “Olga”, which is based on a book of mine, for women who worked in the Palace and I was on a third occasion, which I can not remember what it is, but without major contacts.
After he left the presidency of the republic I was hired by two publishers, one Brazilian and one American, Companhia da Letras in Brazil, and Penguin in the USA to write a book, which is not a biography.
The original project, the original contract I made with Penguin and the Company, was to write from his arrest in 1980 until the end of his term in 2010. The book would end there.
However, as I clung to his heel, if you allow me the vulgar expression, in the last seven years, I thought it would be a professional waste to have had the privilege of living with him during all this crisis that we are living until today, since the coup against President Dilma Rousseff so far, so I proposed to my editors that I make the book in two volumes.
The first volume, as it was combined, will go from 1980 to 2010, and the second volume, from 2010 until God will know when.
Zanin: Since notably 2011, then, have you started having frequent contact with President Lula?
FM: Absolutely frequent. And before long I discovered that the best place to interview him was on planes because there were no telephones, secretaries, deputies, advisors, so I began to accompany him on trips he made abroad to hold lectures around the world. Excluding Oceania, I went to every other continent with him.
And literally stuck, a cacoete that came from my profession as a reporter.
Shortly before the discovery of the tumor, I began to record with it.
I remember he still had big hair, beard. I was practically all the time beside him.
One, two, three times a week I went to the Institute to do recordings with him.
I made over 100 recordings with people who gravitated to his orbit during this period, including people of opposition.
I do not want it to be a white paper book, an official book.
It’s a journalistic book like all 11 I’ve done so far.
And I had the privilege of probably accompanying him further until … I think only his security had more time than I had with him in that period from early 2011 until days before he was arrested.
Zanin: In this situation you mentioned to accompany former President Lula to travel abroad for lectures, did you even attend the lectures? Can you tell if the president held the talks?
FM: I figured this question could be asked by you or by Judge Sergio Moro.
This morning I discovered that I went to 18 countries with President Lula.
I pointed out here, because of the hurry, I came running here: South Africa, Germany, Angola, Cuba, Spain, Ethiopia, France, India, England, Mexico, Mozambique and Portugal.
I would always stay in the same hotel, or if it was a house reserved for him by the hosts, I would always stay with him.
Most of the time it was in hotel. Although I do not like to get up early, he would ask a security officer to come to my room at 6:00 to call me for breakfast. And I stayed with him until his bedtime.
One particularity, I do not know if it matters to Dr Moro’s judgment, is that at no time did he say to me: “Look, when I have to deal with a particular matter, I’ll let you know and you leave.”
This is very common, would not be rude on his part.
I already did other profiles, including a president-in-office, President Collor, and that was it: at the time he wanted to deal with reserved matters, someone would take me out of the office, the house, or wherever he was.
In the case of President Lula no. What I did not watch was what I did not want, but I attended rigorously every meeting, every lecture, I recorded the lectures – with an amateur recorder – some of them I took pictures, but as I knew there was a photographer of him, accompanying me all the time, I did not worry so much about the image, but in some cases I took photos myself.
So I can say that on these trips I accompanied him 24 hours a day. I just did not sleep with him.
At times he was awake, by plane, dinner, heads of state – and in many cases he was received by heads of state from the countries he was visiting – or with personalities.
I remember that, for example, that we were in England he was doing a ….
I am going to interrupt for a minute, Mr. Fernando. Can you respond more briefly, more objectively, to defense issues? You do not have to dwell on these stories with all due respect, but there is a need here to follow. So what’s the next question?
FM: I’m sorry but …
Zanin: You were actually going to touch on a point that I was going to question next, which was an episode in London, involving singer Bono Vox. Can you please describe it, please?
FM: I can. The president went to London, invited to give a talk to entrepreneurs.
Because sometimes he was invited by businessmen and sometimes by workers. In Germany and South Africa, for example, he was invited by trade unions and in London he was invited by businessmen.
After lunch we were at the hotel talking and the singer, the rocker Bono Vox arrived to pay a visit to him.
They talked a little bit and the time Bono left the chair asked me if I could do the courtesy of accompanying him to the building’s entrance. I went down and there were a hundred European and Brazilian reporters (in smaller numbers) more because of Bono than President Lula, obviously, was a universal star …
And the reporters asked him: what did you think of the conversation with the Brazilian president, President Lula?
And Bono answered with a phrase that was very marked in my memory.
He said the following, “After Mandela’s death, there is only one person in the world capable of bringing together rich and poor, black and white, fat and thin, and that person is called Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.”
Because it was not a political scientist, or a theorist, but a rock singer, that impressed me a lot.
Moro: This question of relevance to the case is for what reason doctor?
Zanin: Excellency, we are talking about the reputation of an accused. And second …
Moro: We are not talking about reputation, there is an accusation to be tried and that kind of …
Zanin: Right, the defense … the reputation. And second, we are talking, including your excellence
Moro: You can disclose such meritorious issues to the former president out of the process. It does not have to be here in audience.
Zanin: But to spread out of the process, your excellence …
Moro: It does not concern facts in judgment doctor. What’s the next question?
Zanin: There are issues. Your Excellency is well aware that there are issues that should be taken into account …
Moro: These issues have no relevance to the judgment.
Zanin: I do not know if it bothers your excellence.
I do not mind doctor. I think the process should not be used for this kind of advertising.
Zanin: It’s not propaganda. It’s a matter of reputation.
Zanin: We’re discussing reputation here and more. There is a discussion here about lectures.
Even doubted by judgment. And we are here proving that the lectures were held.
That they were performed by a person of great reputation and that there was interest in attending the lectures.
Therefore, absolutely pertinent to the issues.
Moro: What’s the next question?
FM: Can I make use of the word, Mr. Judge?
I live: No. You answer the questions that are asked. What’s the next question?
Zanin: You commented that because of this work, this book that you are writing that involves President Lula, you started to have a close relationship, including, witnessed, as far as I understood, contacts of former President Lula with diverse without the need for you to leave the compound. Right?
FM: Yes, sir. Exactly the way you put it. At no time, even in a few conversations for which I had no interest, I met the ambassador of Brazil in the country where we were. They were random conversations, but I had been invited, it would be rude of me not to be present.
Then he watched them all. I think practically every conversation he had and in no time I can say, I can assure you that in no time, he or someone from your entourage said: look the president wanted you to stay away five minutes because he needs to try a particular subject. Zero.
Zanin: Of course not. And you, in this situation, you witnessed some act of former President Lula that had suggested the practice of an illicit or that he could suggest that he was rescuing some act that he practiced as President of the Republic. Request or demand an undue advantage.
FM: No. Nothing, no time, nothing. And, your honor has made use of the word propaganda, which I repudiate. I’m not here to advertise. I mean, even that the trips I made with the president, I just went on the plane that was carrying it when there was room left. When there was none, my travels were paid by Companhia das Letras.
The Public Prosecutor can find out. The honorable judge can ascertain that. I went to South Africa with money from the Company of Letters, I went to Cuba with the money from the company of Letters. I returned to Brazil with money and flight paid by Companhia da Letras. So, at no time, would I be right to be advertising anyone else. I was not going to throw away a fifty-year career to advertise a Republican president.
Zanin: Of course not. Mr. Fernando, these were basically the questions I had for you. I thank you for your cooperation and I give the floor back to the magistrate.
Moro: Do other defenders have questions? Prosecutors have inquiries? Does the prosecution have any inquiries? Right. The judge also has no questions to ask. I am going to declare Mr. Fernando Morais’s deposition closed.
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