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Thu Mar 14, 2019, 07:36 PM

Brazil Supreme Court decision seen as 'blow' to Car Wash probe

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS MARCH 14, 2019 / 7:24 PM / UPDATED 12 MINUTES AGO

Brazil Supreme Court decision seen as 'blow' to Car Wash probe

Brad Brooks
4 MIN READ

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that corruption cases involving illegal campaign donations should be handled by electoral courts, a move that some prosecutors warned could hurt their groundbreaking crusade against graft.

Six justices on the nation’s top court cast votes in favor of sending to electoral courts all cases involving politicians who use money gained through corruption or money laundering for campaigns, rather than having them heard by federal criminal courts. Five justices opposed the decision.

Prominent federal prosecutors warned that could unwind the five years of work carried out during the landmark “Car Wash” corruption investigation, which has sent scores of powerful politicians and businessmen to jail in the world’s biggest graft probe of its kind.

Many of the Car Wash convictions - including that of imprisoned former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva - involved illegal campaign donations as an aspect of the case. Prosecutors argue that could open the door for Lula and other convicts to ask the top court to annul their sentences and send their cases to dedicated electoral courts.

“For those who have committed these crimes, this will really be a prize,” Deltan Dallagnol, the lead prosecutor overseeing the Car Wash investigation, said in a written statement.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-corruption/brazil-supreme-court-decision-seen-as-blow-to-car-wash-probe-idUSKCN1QV3C4

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