rapporteur votes against revocation of mandate

rapporteur votes against revocation of mandate


Judge Luciano Carrasco Falavinha Souza, rapporteur of the Judicial Electoral Investigation Actions (Aijes) that ask for the revocation of the mandate of senator Sergio Moro to the TRE-PR (Regional Electoral Court of Paraná), voted for dismissal of accusations of abuse of economic power against the former Lava Jato judge. The rapporteur’s vote lasted two hours and 15 minutes, on Monday afternoon (1).

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In the vote, Falavinha Souza highlighted what he considered to be “weak evidence” presented in the process. In other words, based on Falavinha Souza’s vote, Moro will not lose his mandate. The votes of five other ministers still remain, in addition to the President of the Court, Sigurd Roberto Bengtsson.

The Brazilian Federation of Hope (PT, PCdoB and PV) and the PL – authors of the two actions that were unified for trial in the TRE-PR – argue that Moro should lose his mandate due to abuse of economic power. For the parties, the senator from Paraná benefited from expenses made before the official electoral campaign, during the period in which he was still a pre-candidate for president for Podemos.

In the judge’s opinion, however, the evidence presented by the subtitles was considered fragile. “The authors did not clarify the expenses, indicating the expenses directly linked to the pre-campaign, much less did they make a correlation between the expenses and any specific acts of the campaign aimed at the Senate of Paraná. They simply added up all the expenses, added up the general values, without discrimination, and based on the result concluded that there was an electoral offense”, says the rapporteur’s vote.

During the reading of the vote on this first day of the trial, the rapporteur cited, for example, expenses with events held by Moro in other states, which were included by the parties as a form of pre-campaign. According to Falavinha Souza, it is necessary to separate the expenses made in the pre-campaign by Moro for the Presidency and the Senate.

Falavinha Souza also said that It makes no sense to say that Moro was known for his pre-campaign spending as president. “Even the stones know that the investigated Sergio Moro would not need to carry out a pre-campaign to make his name popular, as he is notoriously known due to the wide media coverage of the Lava Jato operation”, he stated.

The electoral judge stressed that there is no legal provision for pre-campaign spending limits. “There is still no idea about what percentage of campaign spending would be considered reasonable as a pre-campaign spending limit. Given the absence of these parameters, the regularity of pre-campaign financing is a question to be considered in light of the circumstances of the specific case”, said the rapporteur, during a vote given at Moro’s trial session.

Threats from criminal factions justified security expenses, rapporteur points out

In his vote, the rapporteur listed each of the expenses included and assessed whether they could be considered pre-campaign. For Falavinha Souza, the Moro’s spending on security was justifiable given the threats suffered by the senator and his family from criminal factions.

According to him, this could even be harmful to the campaign, as the presence of personal security makes direct contact with voters difficult. Therefore, they should not be counted as pre-campaign, in the rapporteur’s view. “There is no evidence that the hiring of personal security provided an increase in prestige or suitability for the position, whether president or senator”, reiterated the judge.

In another part of the vote, the rapporteur of the Moro case highlighted that “it is easy to see that the authors haphazardly launched all kinds of expenses in the eagerness to prove that there was abuse of economic power and slush fund, while, to the same extent, the defendants deny all expenses as if they were pre-campaign, as if they had no expenses at that stage”.

Falavinha Souza stated that only R$224,778 should be considered as pre-campaign expenses – an amount that, according to him, is “absolutely compatible” with the campaign for the Senate. According to him, even if the amount spent during the period in which Moro was a pre-candidate for president was taken into account, the sum would be R$854,791, “notably lower” than the R$2 million indicated in the opinion of the Electoral Prosecutor’s Office and what classified as the “utopian values” of the accusation.

Trial continues

The votes of five ministers still remain, in addition to the President of the Court, Judge Sigurd Roberto Bengtsson. Moro’s trial ended at 6:11 pm this Monday following a request from judge Rodrigo Sade and should resume on Wednesday (3). According to the voting order released at the beginning of the session by the president of TRE-PR, Sade is the next to vote, followed by Dean Claudia Cristina Cristofani. Next, Julio Jacob Junior, Anderson Fogaça and Guilherme Denz vote. Although a legal trend defends the vote of the president of the Court only in the case of a tie, Bengtsson added that he must vote whatever the result, on the grounds that it is a process with the risk of losing his mandate.

Still in 2023, the Regional Electoral Attorney’s Office of Paraná had issued an opinion with different understanding from that presented by the rapporteur. In the Prosecutor’s Office’s view, there was an abuse of economic power by Moro, as just over R$2 million was invested in the senator’s pre-campaign, according to the report. This amount would then exceed the permitted spending limit.


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