Brasil: Lula da Silva Released after Police Interrogation


The Brazilian ex-president was arrested following news reports published on Thursday which included a written testimony from a senator in the Workers’ Party, who accused ex President Lula of bribery

Brasil: Lula da Silva Released after Police Interrogation. Photo: AP

Brazilian federal police said Friday they were carrying out 33 search warrants and 11 detentions warrants in the Operation Carwash anti-graft investigation, including two in Sao Bernardo do Campo, the hometown of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Reuters reported.

Police picked up Lula at his home on the outskirts of Sao Paulo and released him after three hours of questioning.

Local media reported that the search warrants against Lula’s properties were issued based on allegations that the former head-of-state had received benefits-in-kind from construction firms implicated in the Petrobras scandal.

The arrest follows news reports published on Thursday which included a written testimony from Delcídio do Amaral, a senator in the Workers’ Party, who accused ex President Lula of bribery.

Meanwhile, the recently resigned justice minister José Eduardo Cardozo delivered a press conference yesterday afternoon disputing many of Do Amaral’s claims, questioning the credibility of a politician who is being prosecuted and facing expulsion from the party and the loss of his Senate seat.

“He’s not someone who has excelled at telling the truth”, Cardozo said.

Do Amaral, who was arrested last November on obstruction of justice charges in the Petrobras scandal, was released from jail on Feb. 19, just days after he issued his plea statements to prosecutors.

The online version of Brazilian paper O Estado de S.Paulo said the statements by Do Amaral were preliminary testimony outlining what he could reveal if granted leniency in a formal plea bargain.

The raid also coincides with an announcement by Lula last weekend that he could be a candidate in the 2018 presidential election.

Supporters of Lula’s PT party have previously said that attempts to embroil him in the Petrobras scandal are politically motivated. In February Rui Falcao , the PT president said there was a political slaughtering underway against the former president by sectors of the right to try and damage any chances of re-election.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have been exonerated of all responsibility in the Petrobras scandal in a report released this Monday by the parliamentary commission in charge of the investigation.

Commission spokesperson, Deputy Luiz Sergio Nobrega de Oliveira said “there was no proof” against Rousseff or Lula in any of documents examined by the parliamentary commission, according to EFE.

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