Sun, 29 Nov 2020

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's defense team on Saturday denounced another act of persecution against the former Brazilian president, as he was accused for the fourth time in a case related to the Lava Jato judicial operation.

Federal Judge Luiz Antonio Bonat, who replaced Sergio Moro, received the accusation against Lula and four other people on Friday from the Federal Public Ministry for a crime of money laundering through the Lula Institute, which was subjected to previous investigations for alleged corruption.

‘The same decision ignores that Federal Court of Brasilia had definitively acquitted Lula of the absurd accusation of being part of a criminal organization,' lawyer Cristiano Zanin Martins, head of the former Workers Party leader's defense team, said.

The new charges refer to four donations made by the Odebrecht construction company to the non-profit and supra-party foundation, estimated at one million reais (about 200,000 dollars) for each after the former president had left office.

Lava Jato prosecutors affirm that the transfers resulted from crimes. However, it is proven that the transfers noted by the legal representatives were formally made through legal donations.

Lula has been convicted twice of alleged acts of corruption and money laundering in Lava Jato-related cases.

He served 580 days in prison and was released on November 8 when the Federal Supreme Court determined that prisoners without sanction in first instance and who do not represent a danger to society can wait in freedom.

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