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Chico & Francisco | Interviewing New Top Prosecutor


Source:  Rede Brasil Atual.

A new Procurador-Geral da República has been named: Rodrigo Janot.

The previous PGR was scandalously partisan, fast-tracking the “payola of the PT” scandal while ensuring that the “payola of the PSDB” remained in a locked drawer, The tactic failed inasmuch as the Workers Party candidate won handily

Under Gurgel, Operations Monte Carlo and Vegas — involving a major bicho banker and construction mogul and his relationships with the govenment of the federal district — also languished for two years, leading to complaints of favorable treatment. Carta Capital reports:

Several days before stepping down as Procurador-Geral da República, on august 15, Roberto Gurgel, may face renewed questioning of his conduct in Operation Vegas, of the Polícia Federal.

The Southern regional federal prosecutor Manoel Pastana filed a statement with the Nation Council of the PM alleging “very strong indications” that Gurgel refused to perform his sworn duty when he shelved the investigation of the case in 2009. The document also mentions Gurgel’s spouse, assistant-PGR Claudia Sampaio, and the former comptroller of the MPF, Eugênio Aragão.

Operation Vegas eventually expanded into Operation Monte Carlo, in 2011, during which the federal police discovered a map of illegal gambling in Goiás and a phone conversation between former senator Demóstenes Torres and bicho banker Carlinhos Cachoeira, which led to the impeachment of Torres and the arrest of the racketeer.

A prosecutorial focus on these two cases alone — “payola of the PSDB” and “Little Charlie Waterfall,” would provide fascinating infotainment during next year’s elections. The new PGR seems to promising just that.

The Estado de S. Paulo interviews Janot.

New federal prosecutor complains of “autism” and lack of transparency during administation of  Gurgel

As to the book “The Payola of the Toucans,* published by his predecessor, Rodrigo Janot says he will work to avoid the expiration of the statute of limitations of the charges it contains.

According to Janot, the federal attorney-general should dialogue more with other branches of government.

São Paulo – In an interview with Felipe Recondo and Andreza Matais of the Estado de S. Paulo, the new federal attorney-general, Rodrigo Janot, made it clear he was inclined to impress upon the MPF a less partisan and a more transparent pattern of conduct than had his predecessor, Roberto Gurgel.

He criticizes the “autism” that has taken hold of the PGR during the last administration, due to what he calls a failure of dialogue with the other branches of government, and refused to classify the case as the so-called  “biggest corruption scandal in history,” as did Gurgel.

In the eyes of Janot, “all corruption is bad.” What is important is to emphasize, as does the new PGR, that there will be an investigation and trial, a procedure quite different from the idea of the so-called impunity.

Asked if he will accelerate the treatment of the so-called “monthly stipend of the Toucans,” which operated under Henrique Cardoso and Eduardo Azeredo, both of the PSDB, Janot replied:  “The same stick you whack Chio with is good enough for Francisco.”

“What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Below, the interview in its entirety is reproduced below.

The “monthly payola” case is winding down. Will you work to expedite the trial of the  “monthly payola of the PSDB” ?

If you beat Francisco, you beat Chico. What I can say is that here in my hands, I hold all the cases, criminal or civil. The important thing is to ensure that all cases, penal in nature or not, will receive professional representation and equal status before the courts. 

The statute of limitations is about to run in the case  of criminal conspiracy in Minas Conspiracy has past the limitations already. Do you foresee new risks?

One of my ways of working is to afford priority at any cost to cases about to expiire. …

You have said that you would not call for the convicted subjects in the “payola” case. But are you going to expedite  your opinion in the  [case of the Toucan payola]?

I need to carry out the agreement reached reached by the Court. I will have to wait for the final disposition of the case. I  am going to relieve myself of responsibility as quickly as possible. But I cannot say whether  I willl use the entire deadline. I might even work through a recess. I am not a vacation-taking guy,

Do you consider the “payola of the PT” trial a landmark in the struggle against impunity?

No. I am hesistant to say that one case is a landmark in this or that area of law. I hope this process will continue and that it will contribute, in a broader context, to the trial ending according to what the law provides. Is this a major landmark? I look back and see that 20 years ago, this case would never have existed. This must be the major change. 

Why would there have been no trial 20 years ago?

There was resistance to applying the law equally to everyone. Today, the Republic is more republican. 

Do you agree that this was the biggest scandal in Brazilian history?

What does it mean, bigger? Receiving a large sum of money on a single occasion or gradually bleeding funds out of the public health budget, for example. These are equally serious crimes, but I cannot quantify this. I do not know what is worse. No, I do not know if this is the largest corruption case. All corruption is bad. 

Perhaps because government leadership was involved.

And what about corruption that is widespread? It involves a lot of people. Money diverted by corruption is not available for basic services in health, education and public safety. All corruption is bad. 

You have said that you do not support the immediate imprisonment of the “payola” defendants, followed by a new trial. And the others? 

For these defendants, moving forward to the sentencing phase is the next step. As to the others — who will have a second trial — only after the Court has produced its findings. 

Do you defend putting an end to the “privileged forum” or will this change only result in more impunity?

Every time you appeal to a higher forum, the more you diminish the appeals by the defendants. The more you limit the judicial review of the case the greater the chance of error, These issues have to be dealt with out in the open in the deliberative process. 

You have said you are inclined to dialogue. Does this have to do with the persons you will investigate?

Investigation is not dialogue. What I mean is the institutional relation among the three powers. 

Has there been a lack of dialogue in recent years?

The Public Ministry — prosecutor — has shut down. It has become an autistic institution. Dialogue does not mean deal making. If I need to investigate, I will. …

How do you intended to accelerate the disposition of cases at the MPF?

I will provide the greatest possible transparency to issues that come before me. The people have the right to know what goes on behind closed doors, how the cases are progressing and their statute of limitations. I want to run a more open office. My second goal is to clear away cases that have been shelved. The pile of records is the devil’s dough. We cannot be shy about archiving cases … 

Do you favor more flexibility in the rules for the creation of new political parties?

We don’t need to. We just need to apply the law, which fixes the requirements for the creation of new parties. Our job is to see that all the prerequisites were complied with. And that is it. 

O Will you send a proposal to congress to diminish the benefits for members of the Ministério Público, such as subsidized housing or vacation as a prize for good work?

I discuss the statute of the  MP as a whole. For me to seen a proposal cutting out the provisions of the enabling statute, I have to negotiate the statute as a whole. I doubt that any colleague of mine …

Other PRGs have been mocked with such nicknames as “the archiver” or “the slacker.” What will your mark on the office be?