Brazil's Lula denies corruption accusation by former minister

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-14 16:32:15|Editor: Zhou Xin
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday criticized his former Finance Minister Antonio Palocci, who recently turned in evidence and told the court that Lula was deeply involved in corruption.

The former president gave a long testimony earlier on Wednesday to Judge Sergio Moro, who is in charge of the corruption cases investigated by the Federal Police's Operation Carwash. He commented on the accusations made against him by his former ally, denying any involvement in corruption and other alleged crimes.

After a long investigation, Palocci decided to provide information on Lula in exchange for a lenience deal. He said the former president had close ties with the construction company Odebrecht, which is at the center of the corruption scandal involving contracts with oil giant Petrobras, and received millions of dollars in bribes from Odebrecht.

"Nothing in his testimony is true. The only true thing he said was that he is only making the accusations because he wants the benefits of the lenience deal," Lula said.

Lula called Palocci "cold and calculating" and said the former minister only made accusations against him to get a shorter sentence. He said Odebrecht's donations to the Lula Institute are legal and documented and do not constitute bribes.

He also denied Palocci's accusation of obstruction of justice, saying he would not be in politics if he did not believe in justice.

"Regrettably, Palocci subjected himself to this small job, because inventing untruths to try to criminalize a person whom he knows did not commit the crimes he alleged is very unpleasant," Lula said. "I honestly do not feel anger at Palocci. I feel sorry that he ended such a brilliant career the way he did."