Taken for granted by opponents, the revocation of the mandate of senator Sergio Moro (União Brasil-PR) has been marked by uncertainty since the beginning of the process at the Regional Court of Paraná (TRE-PR). After the change of rapporteurs last year and the end of the mandate of five members of the Court in January, the change of trial dates in Paraná indicates that the Calendar can also influence the movement of political chess pieces involving judgment.
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In the unified action, authored by PL and the PT-PV-PCdoB Federation, the former Lava Jato judge is accused of abuse of economic power in the 2022 electionswhen Moro was elected with 1.9 million votes from Paraná voters.
The tendency is for the political game to be even more intense with the arrival of the process at the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), currently presided over by minister Alexandre de Moraes, responsible for determining urgency regime for inclusion on the triple list from Paraná on the agenda, on the eve of the Court’s first session of the year in Brasília. Since January 27th, the state court has had an empty legal class chair, which prevents any impeachment trial without the maximum quorum, which means seven judges in full.
With the approval of the list last Thursday (1st), the names of the three nominated by the Court of Justice of Paraná (TJ-PR) were forwarded to the Civil House for selection and appointment by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), which should happen before Carnival. According to an investigation by the People’s Gazettethe favorite for the position is lawyer José Rodrigo Sade, who held the mandate of substitute electoral judge for the class of jurists until the end of January, alongside Roberto Aurichio Junior, whose mandate also ended on the 27th. The name on the list is that of lawyer Graciane do Valle Lemos.
Behind the scenes, Moraes’ order signed on January 20, a Saturday, during the Judiciary’s recess, was seen as an indication that the Moro’s impeachment process must be processed quickly by the TSE.
Regardless of the Court’s decision in Paraná, the trial that will acquit or confirm the senator’s conviction will take place in Brasília, as the legislation provides for the assessment of the case in two instances. Thus, even if Moro is convicted in the TRE-PR, he remains in the Senate at least until the TSE’s decision.
Alexandre de Moraes remains in presidency of the Superior Court until June 3 and the tendency is for Moro’s case to “go up” to the TSE by the month of April, after the expiry of the procedural deadlines after the trial by the Paraná court, according to the assessment of sources heard by the report.
If the projection is confirmed, Moraes would have enough time to preside over Sergio Moro’s trial during the term of his mandate after the rapporteur’s draw and the opinion of the Electoral Attorney General’s Office. He will be replaced by Minister Carmén Lúcia, vice-president of the TSE. The open position belonging to the Federal Supreme Court (STF) will now be occupied by minister André Mendonça. If Moro is impeached, the TSE will still have the task of holding the new election to the Senate in Paraná in the second half of the year, the same period as municipal elections across the country.
Sources heard by People’s Gazette assess that the process ran at a slow pace last year in Paraná and suffered delays such as the postponement of testimonies from witnesses and those being investigated, a procedure that has already been conducted by the current rapporteur, Luciano Carrasco Falavinha Souza due to a request for leave from judge Dartagnan Serpa Sá, on the eve of the end of the two-year term in December 2023.
Moro’s trial date will be announced after the election judge takes office
Before the process reaches the Federal District, TRE-PR still needs to define the date of Moro’s trial, which was the subject of much controversy last week. The Court returned from the year-end recess on January 22nd, in a week marked by the end of the term of office holder Thiago Paiva dos Santos, in addition to his substitutes a few days later.
Last week, the case’s rapporteur asked that the trial be held “on the earliest possible date” with the possibility of an in-person session on February 19, a date that was not confirmed by the then president of the Court, Wellington Emanuel Coimbra de Moura.
On his last day in office, last Wednesday (31), Moura officially scheduled the trial session for next Thursday (8), suspended the following day by the new president of TRE-PR, the judge Sigurd Roberto Bengtsson. In a note, the Pará court indicates that it must await the appointment of the new electoral judge by Lula and then the official inauguration to schedule the session that must assess the suspicion of abuse of economic power by Moro in the period of pre-presidential campaign, between November 2021 and March 2022, by Podemos and also the Senate campaign itself after joining União Brasil.
“After the appointment of the new member of this Court, a date will also be designated for his inauguration, in accordance with the Internal Regulations of this house. With the full panel of member judges, a date will be immediately designated for the judgment of cases that require judgment by a full quorum”, explained TRE-PR in a note.
Behind the scenes, Rodrigo Sade’s choice of Lula is taken for granted, despite acting as Deltan Dallagnol’s lawyer (Novo-PR) on his CV, which led the electoral judge to declare himself a suspect to vote in the trial regarding the registration of the candidacy of the former federal deputy and former Lava Jato prosecutor.
Roberto Aurichio Junior was responsible for two decisions favorable to Moro in the 2022 elections: he authorized the use of the expression “judge” in advertisements and maintained a post questioned by the campaign of Álvaro Dias (Podemos-PR), his opponent in the electoral race for the Senate. The only woman on the list, lawyer Graciane do Valle Lemos held a position in Moro’s administration as Minister of Justice in the Bolsonaro government.