The Supreme Court of Brazil considered this Tuesday that former judge Sergio Moro acted with "partiality" in the trial that led to the first conviction of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for allegations of corruption, in a new judicial victory for the former leftist president, reported AFP .
The second chamber of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) made that decision by 3 votes to 2, after a last-minute change in the position of one of its magistrates, Carmen Lúcia, who had initially rejected the lawsuit filed by the lawyers for the líder on the left.
The decision is a serious blow to the gigantic anti-corruption operation Lava Jato, of which Moro was the main figure.
"Victory of the truth," the Lula Institute reacted on Twitter, with a photo of the president at a rally that read "STF decides: Partial Moro."
Lula's defense (2003-2010) alleged that Moro harmed the former president throughout the entire investigation of the process and acted with political motivations.
Among the cited examples is that of having prevented Lula from running for the 2018 elections, for which he was the favorite, and then having accepted to be the justice minister of the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, the winner of those elections.
"We hope that the ruling issued today by the Supreme Court will serve as a guide for any citizen to have the right to a fair, impartial and independent trial," the former president's lawyers, Cristiano Zanin and Valeska Zanin Martins, said in a note.
- The case of the triplex -
The 'suspension' of Moro agreed by the STF concerns a single case of the two sentences handed down so far against Lula in the court of Curitiba (south), where the former judge was acting.
This is the case of a triplex on the São Paulo coast, of which Lula was the beneficiary, according to the indictment, in exchange for contracts offered to construction companies in the state oil company Petrobras.
Moro handed down a sentence against him in 2017 to 9 and a half years in prison, taken to 12 years and a month in January 2018 by a second instance court and later reduced to 8 years and 10 months in 2019 by a higher court ( STJ).
Lula was sentenced to 17 years in prison in another trial started by Moro, but concluded by his successor when the judge became minister.
These two processes were annulled earlier this month by an STF magistrate for a formal defect, claiming that they should be handled in Brasilia. With that decision, Lula was enabled to contest the 2022 elections.
The Attorney General's Office appealed that decision, which should be dealt with shortly by the plenary session of the STF, with 11 members.
The new judicial victory of Lula, this Tuesday, forces the court that deals with the matter to start the investigation from scratch, with all the interrogations.
Moro can file an appeal against the ruling, but only by questioning its constitutionality, explains Daniel Vargas, a law professor at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation.
"Today's decision is another political victory for former President Lula, whose eligibility is confirmed after successive decisions by the STF," said the consulting firm Prospetiva.