Brazil Justice Minister Sergio Moro Denies Conspiring Against Lula
Brazil’s Justice Minister, Sergio Moro, has denied rights he conspired to keep leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva out of the 2018 election.
The Intercept news site issued what it says are messages sent by Mr. Moro while he was presiding over Brazil’s biggest fraud investigation.
The “Car Wash” investigation led to dozens of businessmen and politicians being trapped, including Mr. Lula.
Mr. Moro has blamed The Interrupt of obtaining the messages unlawfully.
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- A quick guide to Operation Car Wash
Mr. Lula, the 73-year-old who led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, has denied all of the fraud charges against him and said that they are politically inspired.
What was in the leak?
The Interrupt issued excerpts of the messages on Sunday, saying they had been sent on the encoded messaging app Telegram during the five-year investigation.
They were out by an anonymous source, the site added.
In the posts, Mr. Moro – then a justice – performed to make ideas to prosecutors about the pace, focus and order of the anti-corruption inquiries.
“With these actions, Moro grossly overstepped the moral lines that describe the role of a judge,” the report said. “In Brazil, as in the United States, judges are essential to be fair and neutral, and are barred from secretly cooperating with one side in a case.”
The site also said that this was just the start of the story – that the excerpts were a minor part of a “big trove” of disclosed messages between Mr. Moro and anti-corruption prosecutors.
What has Sergio Moro said?
In a report released on Monday, Mr. Moro assessed The Interrupt for not naming their source, “the person responsible for the criminal invasion of the prosecutors’ cell phones”.
He also denied unsuitable conduct, saying there was “no sign of any irregularity or directing of actions as a judge”, and said the messages had been “taken out of context”.
The team of federal prosecutors behind Operation Car Wash also free declarations saying they had acted properly throughout, Reuters news agency reports.