Judge revokes arrest of Tacla Duran, Moro’s foe – 03/16/2023 – Mônica Bergamo
Judge Eduardo Appio, from the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba, decided this Thursday (16) to revoke the preventive detention of lawyer Rodrigo Tacla Duran, who worked for the contractor Odebrecht.
The determination comes in the wake of a decision handed down this week by STF (Supreme Federal Court) Minister Ricardo Lewandowski, who suspended five Operation Lava Jato processes that used evidence presented by whistleblowers from the construction company Odebrecht.
The evidence had already been declared invalid by the Second Panel of the Supreme Court in 2021, in an action filed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).
Tacla Duran worked from 2011 to 2016 for Odebrecht and has been appointed by the Federal Public Ministry as a financial operator of the company’s schemes. Since then, he has been making a series of accusations.
He said, for example, that a labor lawyer friend of former judge Sergio Moro (União-PR) intermediated parallel negotiations with prosecutors in exchange for bribes, with the aim of mitigating his penalty and fine in a possible whistleblower agreement, which it was never closed.
He also stated that Odebrecht’s systems were tampered with before being handed over to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
When judging the case of Tacla Duran, Judge Eduardo Appio cited the decision of the superior court and stated that preventive detention is an exceptional measure within the Brazilian legal system.
“The constitutional presumption is of innocence and not the other way around”, pointed out the magistrate. “The citizen Tacla Duran, like any other person, deserves and has the constitutional right to receive from the Brazilian State a serene, apolitical and republican jurisdiction”, he continued.
Author of this Thursday’s decision, Appio occupies the chair that was once Sergio Moro and is openly critical of Lava Jato’s methods.
“We are all against corruption in the country, as the eternal minister Ricardo Lewandowski reminded so many times in the plenary of the Supreme Court. However, the means to achieve such a noble goal must be employed within the law, ensuring impartiality of the judgment as well as full defense”, said the judge in the decision.
“The citizen Tacla Duran has, in my view, the right to exercise his rights of defense in freedom, until an eventual conviction comes about”, he added.
In addition to Lewandowski, the magistrate makes nods to STF Minister Gilmar Mendes. To the two, he attributed the feat of establishing “historical precedents” that would have “modulated the probative force of the so-called plea bargains”.
The magistrate ordered Tacla Duran to report his activities to the court every two months, not leave the country without notifying the Court, and repatriate amounts deposited in bank accounts abroad.
When detailing this Thursday’s decision, the judge from Curitiba also stated that “the time has come for the rebirth of the guarantees of constitutional principles” before the “police force of the State”.
“All of us, common citizens, judges, attorneys, lawyers, journalists, are, ultimately, also responsible for the survival of these fragile roots of the young Brazilian democracy”, he said.
“The traumatic experiences of World War II taught us all about the importance of the principle of the presumption of innocence,” he continued, without elaborating on his analogy with the Holocaust.
Rodrigo Tacla Duran was an operator at Odebrecht between 2011 and 2016 and, in an interview with Sheet in 2017, he accused labor lawyer Carlos Zucolotto Junior, friend and best man at Sergio Moro’s wedding, of mediating his parallel negotiations with the Operation Lava Jato task force.
According to Tacla Duran, the conversations between him and Zucolotto would involve mitigating the sentence and reducing the fine that should be paid in a plea bargain.
The money from slush two, still according to Tacla Duran, would serve Zucolotto to “take care” of the people who would help him in the negotiation, which would be done with the Lava Jato task force in Curitiba.
Although he was not accused of anything, nor mentioned in the complaint, Sergio Moro took the lead in Zucolotto’s defense and reacted emphatically.
By means of a note, also published in the Sheetthe then judge stated: “Lawyer Carlos Zucolotto Jr. is my personal friend and I regret that his name is used by an outlaw accused and in an irresponsible journalistic article to denigrate me”.
At the time, the Curitiba task force also released a note with eleven paragraphs in which it said “repudiate” Tacla Duran’s accusations against Moro’s friend.
with BIANKA VIEIRA, KARINA MATIAS It is MANOELLA SMITH
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