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Brazil ex-President’s defence team to file complaint with UN

IANS | Brasilia |

The defence team of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday said they will lodge a new complaint with the UN's Committee on Human Rights, saying Lula has been suffering politically motivated judicial persecution.

Since July 2016, lawyers Cristiano Zanin Martins and Roberto Teixeira have accused Sergio Moro, the judge overseeing Operation Car Wash anti-corruption investigation, of not being impartial toward Lula and putting his rights in danger, Xinhua news agency reported.

In October, the UN agreed to evaluate the case but has provided no opinion regarding Lula so far. Such investigations are confidential and can take up to two years.

Since then, Lula's lawyers have regularly provided new documents to the Committee on Human Rights to back up their claim.

The UN could decide not to accept the case or could send recommendations to the Brazilian government on the operation of its judicial system.

This week, Lula's chief lawyer, British human rights expert Geoffrey Robertson, will hold a press conference in Geneva to explain the situation to the international press.

Last week, Lula was interrogated by Moro and said the charges against him were "a farce".

Lula is accused of being guilty of passive corruption and money laundering for having received assets from the construction company OAS worth a total of 3.7 million reais ($1.15 million), in exchange for favouring the company with public contracts.

In total, the former President is facing five separate legal cases, which could stop him from running in the 2018 presidential elections.