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In Brazil, Lula wants to appoint his lawyer to the Supreme Court


“You all expected me to [le] name! » With a smirk, the Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, did not seek to provide false suspense, announcing, Thursday 1er June, to the press, the name he has chosen to occupy the prestigious post of judge at the Federal Supreme Court (STF), the highest court in Brazil. His choice fell on a profile with absolute loyalty: his own lawyer and personal friend Cristiano Zanin.

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Designation is not the only result “of the role he had in [s]a defense »hastened to specify the president on the left, praising ” Training “ of Cristiano Zanin and his qualities “as a lawyer” And “as the head of the family” to replace current judge Ricardo Lewandowski, who has reached the age limit of 75. “Brazil will be proud to have Zanin as a member of the Supreme Court”concluded Lula.

Pale complexion, large glasses and mischievous smile, Cristiano Zanin is a known face in Brazil. At 47, this native of Piracicaba, near Sao Paulo, has defended Lula since 2013. As such, he is the author of several legal exploits. In 2019, to everyone’s surprise, “Zanin” managed to free the former president from prison, imprisoned as part of the “Lava Jato” anti-corruption operation. Then, the following year, he had all of his convictions overturned. In return, he obtains the eternal gratitude of his influential client.

Prepared for months by the Lulists of the first circle, the appointment should be validated without incident by the Senate. The president of the institution, Rodrigo Pacheco, himself judged “positively” Zanin’s choice for this important position. The members of the STF have indeed considerable powers, from the verification of the constitutionality of laws to judicial inquiries and the organization of elections.

“The worst possible decision”

But the appointment risks being much more difficult to get across in public opinion, where the image of Lula and his Workers’ Party remains associated with corruption cases. “Lula made the worst possible decisiondecides the political scientist Camila Rocha. By appointing his personal lawyer to the STF, he gives the impression of wanting to guarantee impunity and protect himself against any legal proceedings or return to prison. It is disastrous in terms of image, both among far-right voters of Jair Bolsonaro and among centrists. »

This discourse, continues the researcher, “is reinforced by the recent setbacks of “Lava Jato” figures, which many on the right qualify as persecution”. Sergio Moro, star judge of the said operation and ex-minister of justice and public security of Jair Bolsonaro, now a senator, is indeed threatened with prison for slander against a judge of the TSF. The former prosecutor of “Lava Jato”, Deltan Dallagnol, for his part, was stripped of his mandate as deputy in May for irregularities during his candidacy for the 2022 elections.

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