Brazil ex-president Lula's defense team to file complaint with UN

(Xinhua)
Updated: 2017-05-17 10:40:00

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks after giving testimony to federal judge Sergio Moro in Curitiba, Brazil, May 10, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

BRASILIA - The defense team of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced Tuesday they would lodge a new complaint with the UN's Committee on Human Rights, saying that Lula has been suffering politically motivated judicial persecution.

Since July 2016, lawyers Cristiano Zanin Martins and Roberto Teixeira have accused Sergio Moro, the judge overseeing Operation Car Wash anti-corruption investigation, of not being impartial toward Lula and of putting his rights in danger.

In October, the UN agreed to evaluate the case but has provided no opinion regarding Lula so far. Such investigations are confidential and can take up to two years.

Since then, Lula's lawyers have regularly provided new documents to the Committee on Human Rights to back up their claim.

The UN could decide not to accept the case, or could send recommendations to the Brazilian government on the operation of its judicial system.

This week, Lula's chief lawyer, British human rights expert Geoffrey Robertson, will hold a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, to explain the situation to the international press.

Last week, Lula was interrogated by Moro and said the charges against him were "a farce."

Lula is accused of being guilty of passive corruption and money laundering for having received assets from the construction company OAS worth a total of 3.7 million reais (1.15 million US dollars), in exchange for favoring the company with public contracts.

In total, the former president is facing five separate legal cases, which could stop him from running in the 2018 presidential elections.

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