Lava Jato: Appio says removal was a violent measure – 05/26/2023 – Politics
When presenting an appeal to the CNJ (National Council of Justice), the defense of Judge Eduardo Appio states that the decision of the TRF-4 (Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region) that removed him from the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba this week was “severe and drastic ” and that the magistrates of the second instance do not have the necessary impartiality to judge the case.
The lawyers who signed the petition to the CNJ say that it is well known that Appio’s performance on the Lava Jato Court “has been taking place in a critical counterpoint” and that this “has been generating local indispositions”. Appio’s defense asks that the case be handled in Brasília, at the national council, not at the TRF-4.
“Referred local indispositions even led to an unjustified reduction of the administrative structure available” to the judge, adds the defense, by suggesting that an extraordinary correction be made in the 13th Federal Court, the same one that has already been occupied by today Senator Sergio Moro (União Brasil -PR).
Appio was at the head of the Federal Court that houses the remaining processes of Operation Lava Jato since February. But, on Monday (22), on suspicion of a disciplinary infraction, he was provisionally removed by the special administrative court of the TRF-4.
In addition to the temporary leave, Appio was forced to return a working laptop and cell phone. For the defense, he is “violently deprived of any access to the Federal Justice building”.
The petition was directed to the national justice inspector, Luis Felipe Salomão. According to lawyer Pedro Serrano, the request was filed this Friday (26). Until around 8:30 pm, the CNJ still had not confirmed the document, which obeys an internal procedure before being included in its electronic system.
In the request to Salomão, Appio’s lawyers ask that the magistrate immediately suspend the removal decision and that the CNJ rescind the disciplinary procedure in progress at the court, which is headquartered in Porto Alegre. That is, for Appio’s defense, the investigation of the alleged disciplinary infractions should be processed in Brasilia.
The defense points out that there was no unanimity among the members of the TRF-4 on this point and that the judge was not heard for a “contradictory minimum”. They also complain about the lack of secrecy regarding the case, which was handled in secret by the court’s internal affairs department, but became public after the decision of the administrative court.
“Another aspect that justifies the prompt recall by the CNJ is that the removal of the natural judge has a significant impact on cases related to Lava Jato, as well as ongoing investigations and criminal proceedings of great magnitude”, write the lawyers.
The petition is signed, in addition to Serrano, by other lawyers from São Paulo who often criticize Operation Lava Jato, such as Rafael Valim and Walfrido Warde Júnior.
Eduardo Appio was temporarily removed last Monday (22), in the midst of a preliminary procedure by the internal affairs department of the TRF-4, which is yet to lead to the initiation of administrative disciplinary proceedings against the judge, after the presentation of a prior defense.
Internal Affairs investigates a phone call made in April to lawyer João Eduardo Malucelli, son of former Lava Jato rapporteur Marcelo Malucelli. In the call, the interlocutor claims to be a servant of Justice and apparently tries to prove the family bond. At the time, Appio was at odds with the former rapporteur, who had revised his decisions.
João Eduardo is a partner of senator Sergio Moro and federal deputy Rosangela Moro (União Brasil-SP), at the law firm Wolff Moro Sociedade de Advocacia. He is also the boyfriend of the couple’s daughter.
The indirect relationship with Sergio Moro was the subject of disputes and Marcelo Malucelli ended up leaving Lava Jato’s rapporteur.
Ahead of the operation, Appio signed controversial decisions. He ordered the arrest of money changer Alberto Youssef twice, revoked the accusation of money changer Nelma Kodama and unlocked R$ 35 million in assets linked to former minister Antônio Palocci. He also annulled the 2017 conviction of former governor Sergio Cabral, considering that the then judge Moro was biased in the judgment. All dispatches were subsequently overturned by higher authorities.
Appio also heard on two occasions from lawyer Rodrigo Tacla Duran, who lives in Spain after being targeted by Lava Jato in 2016. that the former judge always rejected.
In an interview with GloboNews on Monday, the magistrate confirmed that he used the login “LUL22” in the justice system until this year. He said it was an “isolated and individual protest” against an arrest that he considered illegal, that of today’s President Lula (PT).