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Brazilian president’s former lawyer takes seat as Supreme Court docket justice

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The previous private lawyer of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has joined the ranks of the nation’s Supreme Court docket amid criticism that their relationship poses a battle of curiosity


RIO DE JANEIRO — The previous private lawyer of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took a seat on the nation’s Supreme Court docket on Thursday amid criticism that their relationship poses a battle of curiosity.

Lula appointed Cristiano Zanin in June, drawing accusations from the opposition that he’s jeopardizing the impartiality of Brazil’s highest court docket by making a pal considered one of its justices. The president denies having a friendship with the lawyer.

Zanin, who holds a regulation diploma from Sao Paulo’s Pontifical Catholic College, focuses on procedural and enterprise regulation and has been concerned in additional than 100 {cases} earlier than the Supreme Court docket, in line with the Chamber of Deputies.

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He helped Lula overturn a graft conviction stemming from Brazil’s sprawling “Automotive Wash” corruption investigation, getting him freed after 580 days of incarceration. The Supreme Court docket annulled all convictions of Lula, and dominated in 2021 that the choose overseeing the case had been biased. That allowed Lula to run successfuly for his third, non-consecutive presidential time period.

In July, senators inspecting Zanin’s appointment questioned the lawyer about his skill to stay nonpartisan. A big majority of senators went on to vote in favor of his nomination, making the 47-year-old the youngest justice on the 11-member court docket.

Lula, who in March known as Zanin “his pal” on radio BandNews FM, pedalled again in a later interview. “He was not a pal, he was my lawyer,” Lula advised File TV in July after Zanin’s appointment had been authorised by the Senate. “He’s an especially succesful individual … He’s very studious, he’s very competent, he’s very devoted and he’s very critical. That is the explanation why he was chosen.”

On the marketing campaign path, Lula made a veiled criticizm that then President Jair Bolsonaro, his primary opponent within the race, tried to politicize the Supreme Court docket. “I’m satisfied that attempting to meddle with the Supreme Court docket to position a pal, to position a associate, to position a supporter is a setback,” Lula stated.

Zanin is filling the seat vacated by the April retirement of Justice Ricardo Lewandowski. In Brazil, Supreme Court docket justices should retire at 75, an age that Justice Rosa Weber will attain in October.

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