Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva should stand trial for allegedly obstructing a corruption investigation involving state-run oil giant Petrobras, a judge in Brazil has ruled. The decision to charge the popular ex-leader, known as Lula, clears the way for one of the country’s best-known political figures to stand trial. He is named alongside five others as co-conspirators in an alleged attempt to buy the silence of a former Petrobras director implicated in the scandal. A date for the trial has not yet been set.
Lula vehemently denies the claims against him but is not opposed to be investigated in a fair and open manner
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s lawyer
The obstruction-of-justice accusation against Mr Silva follows a plea bargain testimony by former senator Delcidio do Amaral, who was stripped of his seat by his peers and will also stand trial. Mr Silva’s lawyers filed a petition at the U.N. Human Rights Committee on Thursday alleging a lack of impartiality and abuse of power by another judge investigating the Petrobras scandal. His supporters say the latest decision by federal judge Ricardo Leite is retaliation for lodging the petition with the U.N. committee. However, he is also accused by Sao Paulo state prosecutors of money laundering and criminal misrepresentation in connection with an alleged real estate scheme.