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Former President Lula Seeks U.N. Help Against Investigation

By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Former Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, filed a petition on Thursday with the High Commissioner of Human Rights at the United Nations alleging persecution and abuse of power of federal prosecutors in the Lava Jato (Carwash) corruption investigation.

Brazil, São Paulo, Former President Lula has filed a petition with the UN Human Rights Commission
Former President Lula has filed a petition with the UN Human Rights Commission, photo by Fabio Pozzebom/Agencia Brasil.

According to the petition Lula seeks ‘protection from arbitrary arrest or detention, protection from arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence, and from unlawful attacks on honor or reputation’.

The lawyers for ex-President Lula say the former leader has been harassed by Judge Sergio Moro, lead prosecutor in the Lava Jato scandal. The petition claims Moro ‘illegally’ tapped into Lula’s telephone conversations with his lawyers and suspended president Dilma Rousseff, in addition to ordering police to bring in the former head of state for questioning during the on-going Lava Jato investigation.

Political analyst interviewed by local media believe the former leader is afraid he will be arrested and charged with money laundering and misrepresentation related to the alleged ownership of a country house in the interior of São Paulo state and a triplex apartment in the beach town of Guaruja.

In his defense, Lula states he has always helped police and prosecutors in their investigations, and that he has done nothing wrong. “He has refuted, in detail, allegations that construction companies helped him buy a holiday apartment (he did not buy it) or to furnish a country property (which was owned by friends) in return for any favor,” said the petition.

As for Moro, the petition labelled him a biased judge and a ‘crusader who believes that corruption convictions should be obtained by procedures that breach human rights’.

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