NEWS IN ENGLISH – Supreme Court justice-revisor absolves former president of PT of active corruption

09/10/2012 10:05

Débora Zampier      Reporter Agencia Brasil

Brasilia – Ricardo Lewandowski, the justice-revisor of Penal Case 470, the mensalão, voted on Wednesday, October 3, to absolve José Genoino, the former president of the PT, who was accused of vote buying (“compra de apoio politico”) during the first administration of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2004). Genoino was also accused of co-signing loans for money from the Banco Rural and BMG that was allegedly given to members of the PTB and PP so they would vote with the government.

Lewandowski did not pull any punches in a vote that sharply criticized the federal prosecution (“Ministério Público Federal – MPF”). He accused the prosecutors of forcing Genoino into a “Kafkaesque situation where he had to respond to accusations that were abstract and impersonal,” saying the charges were an attempt to punish him for the office he held, rather than acts he effectively carried out.

As for the loans, Lewandowski emphatically claimed that Genoino signed the papers because it was just his job (“sua obrigação estatuária”). And then, responding to a ton of evidence presented by the justice-relator, Joaquim Barbosa, that the loans were pure fiction, Lewandowski pointed out that the PT actually paid back its debt to the Banco Rural. At that point, Barbosa responded ironically that given the history of the Banco Rural it was impossible to take anything about it seriously.

Lewandowski explained that Genoino’s many meetings with politicians, whixh the prosecution tried to paint as evildoing, was just another part of his job: negotiating policy and politics, not committing crimes. “Better close down the country and let another military dictatorship take over if the president of a political party cannot negotiate policy and politics,” he declared. 

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English

Link - Revisor do mensalão absolve José Genoino do crime de corrupção ativa