vigorously defended himself in during a court deposition here Wednesday, denying that he had a role in a monumental corruption scheme being investigated by a judge who has become popular for his crusade against graft.
In a show of defiance to Judge Sergio Moro, Mr. Lula repeated his intention to run for the presidency next year, implying that the investigation wouldn’t stop him from returning to office and thereby putting him into a position where he would be immune from charges.
You can watch the full deposition on YouTube,
Thousands of supporters had gathered outside the Curitba courthouse while Lula was questioned for five hours.
Lula would be banned from running for public office if found guilty
in any of the five trials he faces this year in cases centering on how construction companies overcharged Petrobras on projects, with the illegal funds then channeled to politicians. Mr. da Silva has been indicted on five indictments of corruption, influence-peddling and money-laundering charges.
The Curitiba questions had to do with allegations that he and Mrs. Lula received $1.2 million from OAS, a company that did business with Petrobras, involving a three-story penthouse Lula claims he never owned.