Protests have erupted across Brazil after President Dilma Rousseff appointment her predecessor, Lula da Silva as her chief of staff.
The anger has been fueled by the release of a taped conversation claiming the move is meant to protect Lula from prosecution.
Protests erupted in Brazil after Lula was appointed as a government minister: Police said 2,500 people demonstrated… https://t.co/V8zAMFnD4w— Newsweek Europe (@NewsweekEurope) March 17, 2016
President Dilma Rousseff has maintained her loyalty to Lula despite his being charged last week with money laundering and fraud.
The tape which has caused outrage across the country was released by the judge heading Brazil’s biggest corruption investigation in history.
It’s claimed it reveals Rousseff offering the appointment to Lula.
The recording was made without the participants knowledge.
For those who speak Portuguese here for the recording:
“It was a pyrotechnic show” – another Lula/Rousseff wire tap inexplicably released, this on L being detained https://t.co/jpelnwAis3— Dom Phillips (@domphillips) March 16, 2016
Under Brazilian law cabinet ministers can only be tried by the country’s Supreme Court.
In response to the tape release the presidential palace has issued a statement calling it an affront to the privacy of the presidency and a violation of the constitution.
Lula and several leading politicians and other influential figures have become embroiled in a scandal which began with the state owned oil company Petrobras involving kick backs for lucrative contracts.
The investigation is called Operation Lava Jato (Car Wash) and was launched by Judge Sergio Moro in March, 2014.
Prosecutors allege that the governing Workers’ Party partly financed its campaigns and expenses through these kickbacks.
Lula denies any wrongdoing and says the allegations are aimed at preventing him from running for president again in 2018.
Dilma Rousseff chaired the Petrobras board of directors from 2003 to 2010. She has denied knowledge of any wrongdoing but many of her critics have questioned how she could not have been aware of such a wide-ranging kickback scheme at Petrobras while she held a senior position at the oil giant.