Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lula, claimed public money to promote itself among retirees

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appealed to the coffers of the Brazilian State to "make personal advancement" through 10.6 million cards "propaganda content" sent to retirees and pensioners in the second year of his first presidential term. It is the conclusion of the Public Ministry, which on Tuesday announced its decision to sue the former head of state and his former minister Amir Lando Francisco for "administrative misconduct." According to investigations by the Prosecutor and the Court of Accounts of the Union, printing and sending correspondences between October and December 2004 cost the "public machine" about 9.5 billion reais.

The change of time, approximately $ 3.4 million. The letters, signed by Lula and Lando, warned the beneficiaries of the National Social Security Institute (INSS) for the opportunity to obtain "low-interest loans." For the prosecution, the texts therefore lacked a "public interest" and neither had the "educational, informational or social orientation" required by law.

In addition, the statement of the Attorney General, the Executive's action sought at the same time "favor" to BMG, the only private bank at that time could grant such loans. The same financial institution that months later would be involved in the so-called 'scandal of the monthly', that he fell to Lula's chief of staff and nearly knock down the entire government.

Prosecutor Recalls the operation "propaganda" came immediately after the Banco BMG and the INSS, linked to the Government, signed an agreement to authorize those loans. "Another fact that attention was the quickness in the convention process: it took just two weeks when it is usually about two months," he adds.

To "ensure the return" of the 9.5 billion reais, the Attorney General requires the blocking of assets of both defendants. Upon conviction, both the former president and his former minister may have to pay a fine, see "suspended" his political rights, be banned for "hire or receive benefits from the government" or, eventually, lose their pensions.

Neither Lula nor his aides have said still in demand. The news caught the former president in full return from a trip to Guinea Conakry, where he participated in the inauguration of the reconstruction of a railway from Brazilian miner Vale.

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