By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Having stated many times he would fight any and all attempts to discredit him, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva filed on Thursday a lawsuit against Attorney General Deltan Dallagnol for defamation and asking for R$1 million from the coordinator of the Lava Jato (Car Wash) mega-corruption scandal Task Force.
The lawsuit was filed the same day additional charges were brought by the prosecutors’ office, accusing the former president of receiving bribes from Odebrecht.
According to Lula’s attorneys, the ex-President’s honor and image were attacked during the press conference in September when the prosecutors’ office filed a complaint against Lula.
“No citizen should receive the treatment given to Lula by Prosecutor Dallagnol, much less before there is a fair and impartial trial. The criminal process does not authorize authorities to expose the image, honor and reputation of the accused persons, much less in national network and with clearly offensive terms and adjectives,” says part of a statement released by the attorneys of the former leader.
During the press conference given by Dallagnol to explain the complaint filed against Lula, the prosecutor showed a PowerPoint presentation, with several arrows pointed to Lula’s name in the center of the diagram. At the time Dallagnol claimed that the ex-leader was the ‘top commander of the Lava Jato Operation scheme being investigated’.
The diagram, dubbed PPT Lula, quickly became a hit on social media, with thousands of people substituting Lula’s name for everything from pizza to love to their own names.
Earlier on Thursday federal prosecutors filed additional charges against Lula, accusing him of practicing crimes of passive corruption and money laundering, this time due to contracts signed between Petrobras and Odebrecht.
According to prosecutors among the bribes given by the construction conglomerate was the land for the Lula Institute, said to be worth R$12.5 million.