22 de outubro de 2019
Foto: Ricardo Stuckert

As former high courts chief judges, we would respectfully ask the attention of our fellow justices of the Brazilian Supreme Court and, overall, the attention of the country’s public opinion to the proceedings brought against former President Lula.

As already mentioned by many colleagues coming from Brazil and many other countries, the revelations of journalist Glenn Greenwald and his team of the news website The Intercept, in partnership with the newspapers Folha de S. Paulo and El País, Veja magazine, and other media, reinforced the political nature of the prosecution against Lula. They also confirmed to the eyes of the world, as it has always been claimed by Lula and his lawyers, the biased character of former judge Moro and the prosecutor, and, as a result, the absence of a fair and independent trial against the former president.

These revelations confirmed that Operation Lava Jato, under the guise of fighting corruption, became a political party, contributing to the ousting of Dilma Rousseff in 2016, as well as the political persecution against former President Lula. This persecution worked because it allowed the election of Jair Bolsonaro for the presidency of the Republic.

At a time when democracies are being tested by the rise of the far-right, and especially in Brazil, justice must be erected as a bulwark against authoritarianism and arbitrariness. However, due to the illegal and immoral procedures adopted against former President Lula, Brazilian justice today is undergoing a real credibility crisis. Therefore, it is essential that Supreme Court judges fully exercise their role as guarantors of respect for the Constitution and put an end to injustices committed by prosecutors and former Judge Sergio Moro. As long as former President Lula does not have his innocence and his full freedom restored, Brazilian justice will not regain credibility. Lack of trust in the Brazilian justice system is eroding the rule of law and democracy, with repercussions for all judges in the world.