After all, what is the chance of Lula being arrested for Moro in Curitiba?

Media | July 15, 2017

Former president will be questioned by judge Sergio Moro from 2 pm at the headquarters of the Federal Court of Paraná

Former president will be questioned by judge Sergio Moro from 2 pm at the headquarters of the Federal Court of Paraná

São Paulo – Unless there are sufficient reasons for a provisional arrest, the chances that former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) will end up behind bars this Wednesday — as some assume — at the headquarters of Federal Justice are remote of Paraná, in Curitiba.

But, after all, what is at stake in Lula’s first meeting with Sergio Moro? See the answers:

What does the defendant’s interrogation phase mean?

“Interrogation is the greatest act of defense in itself. It is when the accused has the opportunity to rebut the accusation, clarify the facts that are being argued in his/her favor. It is the moment that represents the fullness of defense”, says David Rechulski, partner at David Rechulski Advogados.

This is one of the essential steps for the judge to form his convictions about the case. “The judge will analyze if there is consistency in what the accused is saying, if there is transparency”, says Rechulski. “Now, in the process, there is no element that is absolutely worth it. The judge forms his conviction according to the whole set of evidence”.

For this reason, depending on the content of the defendant’s testimony, the magistrate can determine new statements and search for evidence. “The conviction only takes place if evidence is gathered to demonstrate the materiality and authorship of the crime that the accused eventually committed,” says Flávio de Leão Bastos, professor of law at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie.

Can Moro pass his sentence this Wednesday?

Even if he already has in his hands satisfactory elements to analyze the case, Moro will not be able to give his sentence right after Lula’s testimony. That’s because the law requires the defense and prosecution to present their closing arguments no later than five days before the judge’s verdict.

On the other hand, if he decides to be convicted, Moro’s sentence does not necessarily mean the end of freedom for the former president either.

“If he is condemned [to the closed regime], he will appeal. If there is no evidence for preventive detention, he would only be arrested if the hierarchically superior court rejects the appeal”, says the professor of the Mackenzie Presbyterian University.

And preventive detention?

Preventive detention is a procedural instrument to protect investigations or persons involved in the process.

It is valid, for example, to prevent the defendant from continuing to commit the crimes he is accused of, when there is a risk of flight or when the defendant acts to obstruct the progress of investigations.

But, according to Bastos, for all these hypotheses clear evidence is needed that denounces that the accused is acting against the process. Otherwise, imprisonment only after sentencing at second instance.

*Updated 12:17 pm to clarify which court could hear appeals related to Lula’s case.

Source: By Talita Abrantes 10 May 2017, 4:54 pm – Updated on 12 May 2017, 12:42 pm

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