Rio de Janeiro, July 30 (IANS) The Brazilian Justice Ministry has decided to accept a denouncement against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for obstruction of justice in the Petrobras scandal.
According to the prosecution, Lula and six others were accused of trying to hinder the probe by bribing Nestor Cervero, former director of international affairs for state-run oil giant Petrobras, who had turned in evidence in the scandal known as “Carwash Operation”, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
In over two years of investigations, this is the first time Lula has been formally accused.
His defence attorneys released a statement saying he “never interfered or tried to interfere in the statements related to the Carwash Operation”.
“The accusation is based exclusively on the statement given by a confessed criminal with no credibility, who made a deal with the prosecution in order to be granted house arrest,” the statement said.
“This criminal organisation could never have worked for so many years, in such an ample and aggressive manner in the federal government, without Lula’s participation,” Chief Federal Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot said.