Brazil’s Justice Killed in Plane Crash Had Received Death Threats

Brazil’s President, Michel Temer, made an official statement to mourn the death of Supreme Court judge Teori Zavascki, who was killed in a plane crash on Thursday, January 19.

Temer declared three days of national mourning in Brazil for the death of the Justice, who was in charge of Lava Jato (Car Wash) the court’s investigation into a wide-ranging corruption scandal.

“He was a good man and a source of pride for all Brazilians,” Temer said. “I join all Brazilians to regret the passing of a public man distinguished by his impeccable trajectory in defense of the law and justice,” he added.

Former President Dilma Rousseff, who appointed Zavascki to the Supreme Court in 2012, also issued a statement mourning his death.

“Today we lost a great Brazilian. As a judge and a citizen, Teori was an intellectual of the law and a man who cared for justice,” Rousseff said.

Former presidents José Sarney and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva also voiced their grief.

Brazilian media reports said Zavascki had received threats in the past year, one of them he confirmed last June as linked with his investigating of a corruption scheme involving government contracts with the private sector, especially Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras.

His death in the Thursday plane crash came several days after media reported he was about to admit key testimonies implicating high-profile politicians.

There were five people aboard the plane flying from São Paulo to Paraty, about 260 km west of the city of Rio, according to Brazilian media. The plane crashed into the sea during poor weather conditions shortly before reaching Paraty.

“Justice Teori Zavascki had been strongly driving the Car Wash investigation in the Supreme Court. It’s hard to believe this was a mere accident,” tweeted Alan Mansur, director of the National Association of Prosecutors.

Federal police said late Thursday that they were launching an investigation.

Authorities said that three bodies had been recovered so far. The other dead men were identified as businessman Carlos Alberto Filgueiras and pilot Osmar Rodrigues. The identities of the remaining two were not released.

While the largest corruption probe in Brazil’s history has been led by a team of prosecutors and Judge Sergio Moro in the southern city of Curitiba, Zavascki handled cases involving politicians. Under Brazilian law, only the Supreme Court can decide to charge or jail federal politicians.

Most recently, Zavascki had been reviewing the dozens of plea bargains of former and current executives of the big Odebrecht construction company, which was one of the main players in the kickback scheme at Petrobras that investigators allege involved more than US$ 2 billion in bribes over a decade. Over the last two years, dozens of politicians and businessmen have been jailed in the sprawling probe.

Sergio Moro, the Curitiba judge, issued a statement after the crash saying he was “perplexed” and calling Zavascki a “Brazilian hero.”

“Without him, we would not have had the Car Wash operation,” Moro wrote. “I hope that his legacy, of serenity and firmness in law enforcement, regardless of the powerful interests involved, is not forgotten”.

Mercopress

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

The protestors in São Paulo rallied in support of Bolsonaro, with one demonstrator holding a sign saying "We are not guinea pigs"

Brazilians Go to the Streets to Protest Against Chinese Covid Vaccine

More than 300 Brazilians gathered on São Paulo’s main commercial thoroughfare on Sunday to ...

Lula dancing with fans - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

Lula Admits Courts Might Prevent Him from Becoming Brazilian President Again

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told Reuters on Wednesday that his ...

Lula still loved by the crowds - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

Lula Launches Book and Says He Will Be a Political Prisoner If Arrested Now

Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has released his new book, ‘The ...

Karl Marx (1818-1883), philosopher, author, social theorist, and economist.

Thanks to Bolsonaro the Cultural Marxism Conspiracy is Alive and Well in Brazil

“Cultural Marxism” is a right-wing conspiracy theory that accuses the Frankfurt School — comprised ...

An Amazon community - Photo by Bruna Arcangelo Toledo

Amazon Forest’s Keepers Under Pressure of Ranchers Fear for Their Future

In western Brazil’s Amazon, the people tasked with looking after the world’s greatest rainforest ...

Anti-corruption protest - Photo: Wesley Almeida/cancaonova.com

Brazil Gasps at Festival of Christmas Presidential Pardons for the Corrupted

Brazilian anti-corruption prosecutors and organizations raised their voice this weekend against President Michel Temer’s ...

35,000 Troops Guard Brazil’s Frontiers. Most Are in the Amazon

Drug seizures are not infrequent in Brazil’s Amazon region. In early January alone, the ...