Brazilian ex-president’s case sent to federal judge

Brasilia, March 15 (IANS) A state court judge in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo has ruled that the corruption charges against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva must be sent to a federal judge.

A judge of the fourth penal court of Sao Paulo said the case should be analysed by Sergio Moro who is in charge of the federal probe into Petrobras, the state-owned oil giant.

The charges against Lula are a part of the investigation into the Petrobras corruption scandal that has involved many senior executives and officials, Xinhua news agency quoted the judge as saying.

The federal court of Parana, to which Moro belongs, said on Monday that it has not received any documents concerning the charges against Lula.

Sao Paulo prosecutors have demanded preventive arrest of Lula, who faces money laundering charges, to prevent him from mobilising support to influence the legal process.

Lula has denied the charges saying that they “had no basis in reality”.

He said that he has done nothing wrong and would expect an apology from the investigators once his name was cleared.

“I will be a candidate for presidency in 2018,” said the former president, who has been a mentor to President Dilma Rousseff.

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