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LATIN AMERICA

Former Brazilian president’s home searched by police in Petrobras probe

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva taken away for questioning as part of anti-corruption investigation

Federal officers outside the residence building of Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Federal officers outside the residence building of Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. AP

Brazil’s federal police this morning raided the home of former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, along with that of his son Fabio Luiz Lula da Silva. Officers arrived at Lula’s home, which is located some 20 kilometers from São Paulo in the small community of São Bernado, at around 6am, before taking him away for questioning, according to local media reports.

The police operation is linked to the nationwide Lava Jato investigation into corruption allegations at state oil company Petrobras. Some 200 officers and around 30 tax inspectors took part in Operation Aletheia (named after the Greek word meaning “the search for truth”).

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a file photo from 2015.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a file photo from 2015. AFP

Pressure has been growing on the former Brazilian president. On Saturday, at a celebration to commemorate the 36thanniversary of Lula’s Worker’s Party in Rio de Janeiro, he made it clear he expected to be called to give evidence as part of Lava Jato. Lula said he believed details of his bank accounts would be revealed and that his telephones had been tapped. “If this is the price I have to pay to prove my innocence, then I will do it. All I want afterwards is a letter confirming my innocence,” he joked, prompting applause and laughter from those in attendance.

The former president, who has taken the offensive in defending himself, also said at the celebrations that the accusations against him had been whipped up by the media.

Federal police say that Lula is obliged to cooperate with the investigation, which has affected the country’s main businesses, along with a number of leading politicians.

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