Lula appeals against graft ruling
LAWYERS for former Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva have filed their first appeal against the ruling handed down last Wednesday by Judge Sergio Moro.
Moro, who has been spearheading Brazil’s sprawling corruption investigation known as Operation Car Wash, found Lula guilty of accepting bribes from the engineering firm OAS in the form of a beachfront apartment in Guaruja.
The defence cites a series of “omissions in the case files” which need to be considered.
The judge said the apartment was worth a total of $691 000, and that this included a very extensive renovation undertaken on the instructions of Lula and his late wife Marisa Leticia.
Lula’s legal team said the documents which were presented to the court and disregarded by the judge, included quotes from witness statements regarding certificates which would prove that the real owner of the property is still the construction company.
After Moro answers these questions, Lula’s lawyers say they will appeal to a court of second instance.
Speaking at a Workers’ Party meeting in Sao Paulo, the former Brazilian president has continued to insist that there is no evidence to justify his conviction and maintained that the conviction is politically motivated.
He said: “As long as (prosecutors and judges) have not proven anything against me, I’m going to be criss-crossing the country for you.”
His supporters enthusiastically chanted “Lula, Warrior of the Brazilian people!”
The latest survey conducted ahead of Brazil’s 2018 presidential elections puts the former president as the top choice for voters in the country, despite his sentencing earlier this week to almost 10 years in prison.
The former president is followed by the Social-Christian Party’s Jair Bolsonaro at 21%, then the Brazilian Social Democracy Party’s João Doria at 13%, and finally, Sao Paulo’s Governor Geraldo Alckmin at 10%.
Last month, the polling firm Datafohla also pegged the Workers’ Party’s candidate as the leading choice for Brazil’s citizens.
It found that Lula would win at least 14 percentage points more than any other candidate. teleSUR