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Tue Aug 6, 2019, 12:07 AM

Lava Jato is a Criminal Organization, Says STF Justice Gilmar Mendes

Federal Supreme Court (STF) justice claims that members of the operation have inflicted considerable damage through misuse of power and advocates an investigation into the leaked conversations.

By Iolanda Fonseca -August 5, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Justice Gilmar Mendes of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) criticized the Lava Jato operation and its members once again.

In an interview to newspaper Correio Braziliense, released on Sunday, August
4th, the justice fired out: “Deep down, it’s a game of cronies. It’s a criminal organization that investigates people.”

Gilmar was mentioned in one of the leaked conversations between the coordinator of Operation Lava Jato in Paraná, Deltan Dallagnol, and other members of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

Messages released by The Intercept Brasil suggest that Deltan encouraged investigations into Toffoli and his wife, as well as Gilmar’s wife. (Photo internet reproduction)

In the conversations, Dallagnol suggested and encouraged the investigation of Supreme Court justices and their wives. “Why did they want to investigate Toffoli or me? Because we did something wrong? No, because we represented some kind of resistance to the malpractices that were unfolding,” Gilmar said.

The magistrate says there was inexperience among prosecutors and that the behavior of Lava Jato members evidences the presence of a criminal organization. “If we analyze the facts, this is a group of mesmerized individuals,” said Gilmar, in reference to justice Minister Sérgio Moro and Dallagnol.

Gilmar stressed the need for the information displayed in the conversations leaked by The Intercept Brasil website to be explained not by who published them, but rather by who produced them.

“The public official has to provide an explanation on the content of what he has produced. As a matter of fact, this shouldn’t have occurred. There can be no task force between members of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the judge,” he said.

Elections and Lula

According to the STF justice, Lava Jato had a direct impact on the 2018 elections. He points out that the entire political system was disrupted and that the candidates linked to public safety achieved a significant turnout.

“I believe that the Lava Jato operation alone has led to an impact on the political system, well before the election, and, in a way, determined who could and who could not be a candidate,” he said.

As for Lula, Gilmar believes that this must be analyzed with caution. “It is a very curious context which must consider the fact that the former judge, who convicted former president Lula, later accepted an invitation to be a minister of the opposition candidate. This factor is even challenged internationally,” he said.


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