(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRAZIL 247 NEWS AGENCY)
LULA IS INTERROGATED AND SAYS PRISON IS LAVA JATO OPERATION AWARD
Former president began to be questioned by the substitute federal judge Gabriela Hardt at around 3 pm in the Lava Jato process that investigates reforms made in the site of Atibaia (SP); according to people who were present at the testimony, Lula denied any connection with the works at the Atibaia site and stated that his arrest would be a “prize” of Operation Lava Jato; was the second time that Lula has left the Superintendency since he was arrested in April after an arrest warrant issued by Sergio Moro without the exhaustion of all judicial remedies
NOVEMBER 14, 2018 AT 6:31 PM // SIGN UP FOR TV 247
247 – The interrogation of the former President of the Republic Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) at the Federal Justice headquarters ended at around 5.50 pm in Curitiba (PR). He began to be questioned by substitute federal judge Gabriela Hardt around 3 pm in the Lava Jato trial investigating reforms made at the Atibaia site.
According to people who were present at the testimony, Lula denied any connection with the works at the Atibaia site and stated that his arrest would be a “prize” of Operation Lava Jato. Report of Uol .
The former president left the site about ten minutes after the end of the hearing and was taken to the Federal Police Superintendency (PF). It was the first time Lula left the Superintendency since he was arrested in April after an arrest warrant issued by Sergio Moro without the exhaustion of all legal remedies.
Several people attended the vigil on behalf of the former president, convicted without evidence in the triplex process in Guarujá (SP), with a sentence challenged by several jurists.
Watch the testimony:
Read also Agência Brasil report on the subject:
Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied today (14), in testimony to the Federal Court in Curitiba, to have knowledge about the reforms carried out in the Santa Bárbara Site, in Atibaia (SP). He also denied being the owner of the property.
Lula was questioned by Judge Gabriela Hardt in criminal action in which he and 12 defendants respond to the process, including the entrepreneurs and Marcelo Emílio Odebrecht and Leo Pinheiro, the OAS, and the farmer José Carlos Bumlai. The accusations are of the crimes of corruption and money laundering.
The site was the subject of investigations by Operation Lava Jato, which investigates suspicions that site improvements have been paid by contractors investigated for corruption, such as OAS and Odebrecht.
In the interview, Lula confirmed that he started attending the property in early 2011, when he left the Presidency of the Republic.
However, the reforms that were carried out were already ready and Lula said that he was not aware of them because he was not the owner of the property.
The former president also denied that he had dealt with the matter with Emilio Odebrecht. “When I first met the site, it had no renovation, the site was ready,” he said.
At the beginning of the hearing, the judge asked Lula if he was aware of the charges against him, a procedural plea made to all the accused. He replied that he did not know and wanted to know the contents of the indictment.
“I would like to ask, if you could explain it to me, what is the charge?” “I am willing to answer any and all questions, do I own the site or not?” questioned
Then Gabriela Hardt replied. “This is you who have to answer and not I. I am not being interrogated at this moment.This is an interrogation, and if you start in this tone with me, we will have trouble.”
During the deposition, the former president again said that the accusations against him are “a farce.”
“The first case that I have been victim of, which is a farce, a lie of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, with Power Point, the second one is another farce, I am paying that price. Justice, and one day the truth will prevail what is happening, “he said.
According to the researchers, the reforms began after the purchase of the property by businessmen Fernando Bittar and Jonas Suassuna, friends of Lula, when “the first architectural drawings were elaborated to accommodate the needs of the family of the former president.”
In the report prepared by the Federal Police in 2016, experts cite the works that were made, including a kitchen valued at R $ 252 thousand. The estimate is that a value of around R $ 1.7 million has been spent, adding the purchase of the site (R $ 1.1 million) and the reform (R $ 544,800).
It is the first time that Lula leaves the Federal Police (PF) prison in Curitiba after being arrested for the conviction in another case, which deals with the triplex apartment in Guarujá (SP). Since April 7, Lula has been serving a sentence of 12 years and a month in prison, imposed by the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region (TRF4), for crimes of passive corruption and money laundering.
Defense of the ex-president
In a statement, the former president’s defense stated that Lula’s testimony shows the arbitrariness of the accusation. This is because although the Federal Public Prosecutor cites that specific Petrobras contracts would have generated benefits to Lula, no question in this regard was made: “The situation confirms that the reference to such Petrobras contracts in the complaint was a reproachable pretext created by Lava Jato to submit Lula to arbitrary proceedings before the Federal Court of Curitiba. “
The defense also reaffirms the ownership of the Santa Bárbara site, “which belongs in fact and right to the Bittar family, as documented in the process.”
“The testimony given by former President Lula also reinforced his indignation at being imprisoned without having committed any crime and for being subjected to judicial persecution for political reasons embodied in several offensive and unreasonable charges for someone who ruled exclusively in the interests of the country,” ends the note signed by lawyer Cristian Zanin Martins.
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