Brazilian justice is currently experiencing a serious credibility crisis within the international legal community. Today, it is clear that Lula was not entitled to a fair trial. It should be noted that, according to Sergio Moro himself, he was convicted of “undetermined facts”.
Published on Comitelulalivre, Aug 12, 2019
We, lawyers, jurists, former ministers of justice and former members of Supreme Courts of Justice from various countries, would like to call for consideration the judges of the Supreme Court and, more broadly, the public opinion of Brazil for the serious vices of the proceedings filed against Lula.
The recent revelations by journalist Glenn Greenwald and staff at The Intercept news site, in partnership with Folha de Sao Paulo and El País newspapers, Veja magazine and other media, have appalled all legal professionals. We were shocked to see how the fundamental rules of Brazilian due process were violated without any shame. In a country where justice is the same for everyone, a judge cannot be both judge and party to proceedings.
Sérgio Moro not only conducted the process partially, he led the prosecution from the outset. He manipulated the mechanisms of the award, directed the work of the prosecutor, demanded the replacement of a prosecutor he was not satisfied with, and directed the prosecution’s communication strategy.
In addition, it placed Lula’s lawyers on the phone and decided not to comply with the decision of a judge who ordered Lula’s release, thus grossly violating the law.
Today, it is clear that Lula was not entitled to a fair trial. It should be noted that, according to Sergio Moro himself, he was convicted of “undetermined facts”. A businessman whose testimony gave rise to one of the former president’s convictions even admitted that he was forced to construct a narrative that would incriminate Lula under pressure from prosecutors. In fact, Lula has not been tried, was and is the victim of political persecution.
Because of these illegal and immoral practices, Brazilian justice is currently experiencing a serious credibility crisis within the international legal community.
It is indispensable that the judges of the Federal Supreme Court fully exercise their functions and are the guarantors of respect for the Constitution. At the same time, we expect the Brazilian authorities to take all necessary steps to identify those responsible for these very serious procedural deviations.
The fight against corruption is today an essential issue for all citizens of the world, as is the defense of democracy. However, in Lula’s case, not only was justice instrumentalized for political ends, but the rule of law was clearly disrespected in order to eliminate the former president from the political dispute.
There is no rule of law without due process of law. And there is no respect for due process when a judge is not impartial but acts as head of the prosecution. In order for the Brazilian judiciary to restore its credibility, the Federal Supreme Court has a duty to release Lula and nullify these convictions.
List of Signatories
Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University
John Ackerman, Professor of Law and Political Science, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Susan Rose-Ackerman, Emeritus Professor Henry R. Luce of Jurisprudence, Yale University School of Law
Alfredo Beltrán, Former President of the Constitutional Court of Colombia
William Bourdon, lawyer registered with the Paris Bar
Pablo Cáceres, former president of the Colombian Supreme Court
Alberto Costa, Lawyer, Former Minister of Justice of Portugal
Herta Daubler-Gmelin, lawyer, former Minister of Justice of Germany
Luigi Ferrajoli, Professor Emeritus of Law, Rome Three University
Baltasar Garzón, lawyer registered with the Madrid Order
António Marinho e Pinto, lawyer, former president (president) of the Portuguese Bar Association
Christophe Marchand, lawyer registered with the Brussels Order
Jean-Pierre Mignard, lawyer registered with the Paris Bar
Eduardo Montealegre, former president of the Constitutional Court of Colombia
Philippe Texier, Former Judge, Honorary Counsel of the Court of Cassassan of France, Former President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
Diego Valadés, Former Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico, Former Attorney General of the Republic
Gustavo Zafra, former ad hoc judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Read in conjunction with: Congressman Hank Johnson asks DOJ for answers on US involvement in the persecution of Lula