Former President of Brazil Lula’s Conviction Aimed at Preventing His 2018 Presidential Run

Featured image: Former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva served as Brazil’s president from 2003 – 2010. He’s led in opinion polls to win another term in office next year.

If it stands, his near ten-year sentence on corruption charges would bar him from seeking reelection in 2018. He’s a far cry from extremists now running things in Brazil.

Last year, Washington conspired with them to impeach and remove democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff from office on bogus charges.

Tyranny replaced democracy. A wish list for markets and investors was implemented – neoliberal harshness eliminating social justice, powerful privileged interests served at the expense of most others.

Lula is no paragon of progressive governance. James Petras earlier explained he

“embrace(d) free trade, sign(ed) military agreements with Washington, (was) acclaimed ‘Statesman of the Year’ by the billionaire’s club at Davos in 2010, and has enriched bankers from Wall Street to the city of London…”

He “spent billions on roads and ports for exporters but nothing for resident slum safety.”

On July 12, Lula was convicted and sentenced to 9.5 years imprisonment on corruption-related charges. He remains free while appealing the ruling.

Dark forces in Brazil want him prevented from winning another presidential term, a similar scheme to how Rousseff was impeached and removed from office.

Lula was convicted of accepting an alleged $1.2 million bribe from Brazilian construction company OAS in exchange for helping the firm obtain government contracts.

He denies it. So does his lead attorney, Valeska Texeira Zanin Martin, saying

“(n)o credible evidence of guilt has been produced, and overwhelming proof of his innocence blatantly ignored.”

“This politically motivated judgement attacks Brazil’s rule of law, democracy and Lula’s basic human rights. It is of immense concern to the Brazilian people and to the international community.”

Lula was acquitted of “imputations of corruption and money laundering involving the storage of presidential stock for lack of sufficient proof of materiality.”

His legal team said Judge Sergio Moro’s ruling ignored evidence of innocence, accusing him of political bias.

According to attorney Martin, bank and real estate records prove Lula’s innocence. Money he allegedly used to buy a three-story beachfront apartment wasn’t a bribe, she explained, because it’s registered in OAS’ name.

If sold, the monetary transaction would show up in bank transactions, proving Lula didn’t acquire the property, according to Martin.

He indeed may have been framed. Prosecutor Henrique Pozzobon said

“(w)e don’t have to prove…we have conviction.”

If the former president is unable to overturn it, including by Brazil’s Supreme Court if his case goes that far, he’ll face imprisonment or house arrest and be barred from seeking reelection next year – most likely what the case against him is all about.

If acquitted on appeal, he’s not out of the woods yet. He faces charges in four other corruption cases.

According to Martin, “(w)e will prove (his innocence), not only (reversing Moro’s ruling), but all” the other charges against him.

Lula stressed he’s “proven (his) innocence and now…want(s) them to prove (his) guilt.”

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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