The 2nd Panel of the Federal Supreme Court accepted the defense request of the former president of the Chamber Eduardo Cunha, annulled the process and determined to send the complaint to the Electoral Court of Rio de Janeiro, removing the case from the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba, which was led by then judge Sergio Moro. The complaint concerns the receipt of alleged bribes by the emedebista and part of the crimes attributed to the former deputy was previously classified as ideological falsehood for electoral purposes.
The decision in the Panel was by 2 votes to 2 and ministers Gilmar Mendes and Ricardo Lewandowski voted in favor of Cunha’s complaint. Ministers Edson Fachin, rapporteur of the matter, and Nunes Marques voted against but were defeated. As this is a criminal matter, the tie favors the defendant.
The former deputy questioned the decision of the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba that, by making the receipt of the complaint in Inquiry 4,146 in relation to the alleged electoral crime hampered, he would have disrespected the decision of the STF, which received such complaint in full, including with regard to the crime electoral. The car wash, however, despised the accusation of the electoral crime to keep the case in the Curitiba court.
In this Tuesday’s session (9/14), minister Gilmar Mendes again harshly criticized the “jet wash” operation, which, according to him, disrespected the STF’s decision. “There was no further down the scale of degradation. It was a psychological, psychiatric problem, with the STF submitting to the Republic of Curitiba. I hope we don’t see this again,” he said.
The inquiry was sent by Minister Teori Zavascki (1948-2017) to the Federal Court of Curitiba after Cunha lost his mandate. The former deputy was convicted for allegedly having received improper advantages obtained by the purchase of an oil field in Benin (Africa), by Petrobras.
In the original complaint, received by the STF in 2016, the former president of the Chamber was accused of the alleged practice of passive corruption, money laundering and evasion of currency and ideological falsehood for electoral purposes. The undue advantage, kept hidden, with dissimulation of its ownership and origin, was in bank accounts in Switzerland.
As for the ideological falsehood for electoral purposes, Minister Teori noted that, according to the Public Ministry, Cunha did not declare, in a document sent to the Superior Electoral Court in July 2009, US$ 3.836 million in the accounts of trusts kept in Switzerland.
The purpose of the omission would be for electoral purposes, as the accused would not be able to justify incompatible goods abroad, which would influence the elections by demonstrating illicit enrichment.
The Plenary followed the vote of the rapporteur, Minister Teori Zavascki, who believed that sufficient evidence of materiality and authorship had been demonstrated for Cunha to respond to the criminal action on the facts.
According to the PGR, between 2010 and 2011, Eduardo Cunha would have requested and received 1.311 million Swiss francs, corresponding today to about R$ 7.5 million, from the acquisition of the oil field and transferred with the participation of Jorge Zelada, then Director of the International Area of Petrobras.
To request the opening of the inquiry, the then Attorney General of the Republic, Rodrigo Janot, based himself on documents sent by the Public Ministry of Switzerland to the PGR. The documents showed accounts opened by Cunha, his wife and daughter, as well as credit card statements. The accounts were not declared by Cunha neither to the Federal Revenue nor to the Electoral Court.
Eduardo Cunha’s defense, in charge of the offices Aury Lopes Jr Lawyers and Figueiredo & Velloso Advogados, commemorated the decision handed down by the 2nd Panel. “As was insistently alleged by the defense, there was an unveiled manipulation of jurisdiction, by the then judge Sergio Moro, with the violation of the guarantee of the natural judge and due process, with the sole purpose of unjustly prosecuting and condemning Eduardo Cunha.”
“The decision of the STF, by accepting the complaint filed by the defense, restores the legality and respect for the constitutional rules of the natural judge and due process”, stated the lawyers.
“The Supreme Court’s decision corrects a historical injustice, making it clear that the ‘jet wash’ acted in an abusive manner and persecuted Eduardo Cunha. The Supreme Court cures a very serious usurpation carried out by the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba and gives the Electoral Court the competence it has always it was yours,” states another note.
Cunha was defended by lawyers Ticiano Figueiredo, Pedro Ivo Velloso, Delio Lins and Silva Júnior, Rafael Guedes de Castro and Aury Lopes Junior.