In sharp rebuke, Brazil Supreme Court rules judge who locked up Lula was biased


VIDEO/The Intercept/Youtube

By ending Lula’s political ban and finding that ex-judge Sergio Moro was biased, the Supreme Court shook up Brazilian politics.

Secret Brazil ArchivePart 15 –A massive trove of previously undisclosed  materials provides unprecedented insight into the operations of the anti-corruption task force that transformed Brazilian politics and gained worldwide attention.

Even for a nation accustomed to its courts interfering in political and electoral disputes, Brazil saw a pair of moves by the judiciary in March that could have stunningly consequential ramifications for the future of South America’s largest country. Successive moves by the nation’s Supreme Court reinstated ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s political rights and cut down the image of incorruptibility so carefully cultivated by the former judge who put Lula behind bars, Sergio Moro.

The moves from the court upended the key political effects of a sweeping, yearslong anti-corruption probe called Operation Car Wash. The investigation, which examined corporate and political corruption and delivered a slew of indictments, rocked Brazilian politics. Though wide-ranging in its targets, Car Wash’s most notable outcome was barring Lula’s 2018 run for president at a time when he remained the most popular politician in the country, clearing the way for the ascension of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro’s rise was bolstered by anger at the perception of corruption among powerful Brazilian figures, and Car Wash, at the time, commanded high levels of public trust. Moro, who presided over the case against Lula, served as Bolsonaro’s justice minister for nearly a year and a half.

With Lula setting himself up to challenge Bolsonaro in 2022, though, the exposure of right-wing political bias at the heart of the probe itself — as an Intercept investigative series in both English and Portuguese began documenting in 2019 — could see the tables turn against the Brazilian right.

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