According to the British newspaper, the reversal of convictions and the annulment of fines in corruption cases signal a possible weakening of the operation’s legacy since the beginning of Lula’s 3rd term.

An event led by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), to help flood victims in Rio Grande do Sul, gained prominence due to the presence of brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, owners of JBS and central figures in the Lava Jato scandal. , in the assessment of the British newspaper Financial Times. The diary suggested that this presence could indicate possible wear and tear on the “legacy” of the operation.

But the Financial Times made no mention of the fact that the Batistas own the largest animal protein company in the world and, given the damage caused by the floods, were invited to participate in the meeting. On Monday (June 3, 2024), JBS donated 1,000 tons of protein to produce 6.5 million meals for families affected by the floods.

Furthermore, the aforementioned meeting (on May 27, 2024) was attended by representatives from Abiec (Brazilian Association of Meat Exporting Industries) and ABPA (Brazilian Animal Protein Association), as well as executives from large food companies such as BRF, Marfrig, Mercúrio Alimentos and Minerva Foods.

In the text published (for subscribers) this Thursday (June 6, 2024), the Financial Times critically addressed the role of Minister Dias Toffoli, of the STF (Supreme Federal Court), in the recent controversies involving Lava Jato. The report highlighted Toffoli’s actions that resulted in the reversal of convictions and the annulment of fines in corruption cases.

“For many, the Batista brothers’ public return highlights how the legacy of the long-running Lava Jato investigation is being dismantled since Lula’s return to the presidency for his third non-consecutive term.”says the British newspaper.

Since the beginning of Lula’s 3rd term, decisions such as the annulment of the convictions of Marcelo Odebrecht and José Dirceu have been seen as a setback by critics of the Federal Supreme Court’s actions. O Financial Times said that Toffoli’s office defended the decisions, saying they were “based on the Constitution and laws of the country” and followed court precedents from 2022 – which is a fact. Toffoli, minister since 2009 and who could remain at the Court until 2042, criticized what he considers to be collusion in Lava Jato that prevented due legal process.

“Much of the work to undo the results of the investigation — which recovered billions of dollars from companies involved — is in the hands of the Federal Supreme Court and, in particular, Minister José Antonio Dias Toffoli”continued the Financial Times. The fact is that in addition to Toffoli (and before him), other STF ministers had already determined the reform of decisions taken by Lava Jato. The British newspaper did not emphasize this context in its report.

There is no surprise in Toffoli’s recent decisions, as they follow the STF’s line of action. Those who follow the Brazilian judicial process more closely already knew that all the companies involved or cited in Lava Jato would take action to reverse the convictions after the revelations of the so-called Vaza Jato (conversations between prosecutors and judges agreeing on common strategies). This strategy also reinforced the annulment in 2021 of the cases against Lula (with the determination to restart them in the 1st Instance), allowing the PT member to be a candidate for president and his victory in 2022. Many companies are listed on the Stock Exchange and were forced to resort to Justice to defend the interests of its shareholders.

In another excerpt from his report, the Financial Times highlighted Brazil’s drop in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, now in 104th place among 180 countries, according to a survey released on January 31, 2024. This ranking is based on subjective criteria, such as the opinion of businesspeople interviewed to say whether they have the “perception” that corruption has increased or decreased. The CGU (Comptroller General of the Union) stated at the time that studies such as Transparency International “should be viewed with caution” and that there is “methodological limitations” –in addition to considering data from 2022, when Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s government had not yet begun.

The corruption perception index measured by the German NGO Transparency International has always been highly criticized by Claudio Weber Abramo (1946-2018), one of the greatest experts on the subject in Brazil. Abramo even started a representation of TI in Brazil, but because of his criticism of the Germans’ methodology, he ended up founding Transparência Brasil, which works in a different way.

For Thomas Traumann, former minister and columnist for Poder360what Toffoli is doing is “basically trying to erase all the good parts” of the Lava Jato operation. “During the last 10 years, there is no doubt that both the Brazilian State and private companies have improved their compliance. But what Toffoli is saying is: ‘You don’t need to worry [com ser processado por corrupção] because in 10 years the justice system will simply let it go”.

Champions League

The STF spent R$39,000 on international daily allowances for Toffoli’s security during his trip to the United Kingdom, from May 25th to June 3rd. The trip included the minister going to the Champions League final, held on June 1st. Real Madrid won their 15th title.

The STF did not provide details about the trip, but emphasized that the minister’s activities were not interrupted, ensuring that Toffoli maintained his work pace and participated in a STF session remotely on May 29.

The financial details of the trip were obtained through a bank order issued on May 27, accessed through SiaFi (Integrated Financial Administration System) data. The revelation that Toffoli went to the game was initially published by the newspaper The globe.

HAS Folha de S.Paulothe STF said that “on no trip did the minister receive tickets or daily allowances” of the court. The STF also highlighted the importance of the security of ministers, justifying that they receive protection in both institutional and personal agendas, due to the risks associated with their functions.


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