Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was treated impartially by former Judge Sergio Moro, who oversaw the graft investigations against the former leftist leader, a Supreme Court justice ruled on Tuesday in a tie-breaking vote.
If none of the four other judges on a Supreme Court panel change their votes, the decision by Justice Nunes Marques would uphold Moro’s procedural decisions and allow the evidence in the so-called Car Wash probe to be used against Lula when he faces trial in federal courts in Brasilia.
Supreme Court to vote on Lula corruption cases
Supreme Court on Tuesday is set to resume voting on a judgment that could throw out evidence in corruption cases against the former President, strengthening his potential candidacy for the 2022 presidential elections.
Lula’s legal team alleges that the former judge Sergio Moro was not impartial in overseeing investigations of the former president. If the Supreme Court agrees, it would invalidate key procedural decisions in the cases against Lula, whose convictions were already annulled this month.
With his political rights restored, the leftist former president has already shaken up the 2022 election, positioning himself as a strong challenger to far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, though he has yet to confirm his candidacy.
However, the cases against Lula could still be retried in a federal court in Brasilia, based on the same evidence. A fresh conviction, if upheld on appeal, could sideline him from the election as it did ahead of the 2018 race.
If the Supreme Court also throws out the evidence against him, based on concerns about the impartiality of Moro, the cases against Lula, as well as those of dozens of other high-profile politicians and business leaders in prison, would likely start from scratch.
Two weeks ago, a panel of five judges from the top court had suspended judgment regarding Moro’s impartiality, with voting split 2-2. Justice Kassio Nunes Marques, who suspended the judgment ahead of his tie-breaking vote, gave the green light for proceedings to resume on Tuesday.