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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/13/19

Leaked Messages Confirm: Imprisonment of Brazil's Lula da Silva was Politically Motivated

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MICHAEL FOX: Well, Sergio Moro obviously has come out defending himself. He said that A, on one hand, the leaks were made illegally; so they were acquired illegally, and that The Intercept should not have published it without naming who actually acquired the documents, the messages. And that has been kind of overall they've been talking about how since these leaks, since we don't know who gave them, they've been really focusing on kind of the illegality of acquiring the leaks. Many other people; for instance, Bolsonaro's own son Eduardo has come out and basically called them fake news. He's been talking about how he believes they may be manipulated, or just a move in order to try and taint the Bolsonaro government at a moment in which it's fairly weak. Obviously there have been the very large protests that have been growing against the education cuts. We've got a general strike planned for this Friday. And so they kind of see within that context.

In that same-in the same interview, Eduardo Bolsonaro also admitted that he hadn't read these leaks. And that's been one of the things that's come out. For the very first day, these were released on Sunday, and that very same day the Lava Jato prosecution team came out and basically confirmed that these were legitimate messages. They denied that they were scathing. They deny that they were in any, in way show that there was collusion between the prosecution and the judge in this case. But they-but they admitted that they were legitimate. And that's one thing that a lot of people who are kind of Bolsonaro supporters, supporters of Judge Sergio Moro, have not been talking about.

And obviously the Bolsonaro supporters have been very, very vocal on on social media, defending the Lava Jato, defending the investigations, defending Sergio Moro, and defending Bolsonaro. It's important to put into context how important Sergio Moro is for recent years in Brazil. This is the man who led the largest corruption investigation in the history of Brazil. And for the right he was very much seen as kind of a superhero. I mean, he was expected to be the man who would get the next post on the Supreme Court. And his name has even been floated for potential presidency for the 2022 elections. Obviously in this case right now, as many analysts have been talking about, those chances are becoming extremely decreased, because Moro is-and this is what analysts are saying-is that he of everyone, of all kind of the scandal, the leaks that have come out of this, he's the one who's really become most wrapped up in this. And that means that they're questioning his agenda as minister of justice. And I mean, even questions about the decisions he made while he was a judge at the head of this investigation. So this is really huge. And it goes across the board going back years.

GREG WILPERT: And so, finally, how do you think this might-is there any indication how this might influence Lula's case, and possibly his appeals?

MICHAEL FOX: It's a great question. We have-just this morning one of the Supreme Court justices said that the evidence released in these leaks could potentially be used in order to question or overturn decisions by Judge Sergio Moro when he was a judge at the head of the Lava Jato investigation. So that is one very important detail. The Supreme Court is literally this afternoon supposed to be hearing a case, an appeal, over freeing Lula, over Lula's case. So that's something that's coming up. We're going to be watching very closely.

It's really hard to say where things go from here. Overall, obviously, like I mentioned, only 1 percent of the messages have been-not the messages have been released, but only 1 percent of the messages have been gone through. So there's a lot of information. We know that five different political parties, the major left parties, the PP, the PSOL, have already said that they're not going to-they're going to block anything they possibly can in Congress until steps have been taken against prosecutors in the Lava Jato team that had been doing the investigations here. We know that the Public Prosecutor's Office, the National Council for Public Prosecutor's Office, has already moved to sanction some of those prosecutors. That was as of this morning. They began the investigations yesterday. They said that five people have been temporarily suspended. So we know that that is happening. The bar association, the Brazilian bar association, has called for both Moro and Deltan Dallagnol to step down because of their implications within all this. And like I said, this is just the beginning. It is the major news. And we believe it's going to continue to grow in the coming days and coming weeks.

GREG WILPERT: And we'll definitely come back to you as this case develops and as it explodes in Brazil. We're going to leave it there for now. I was speaking to Mike Fox, freelance reporter based in Florianopolis, Brazil. Thanks again, Mike, for having joined us today.

MICHAEL FOX: Thanks, Greg.

GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining The Real News Network.

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