A Brazilian Anti-corruption Judge Sergio Moro, who contributed to Jair Bolsonaro’s election victory by jailing his main rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will become Justice Minister under the far-right President.
Lula, is a Brazilian politician and former union leader who served as the 35th President of Brazil from 1 Jan. 1, 2003 to Dec. 31, 2010.
“After a meeting with Bolsonaro at which policies for the portfolio were discussed, I accepted the honourable invitation,’’ Moro said in a statement published by Brazilian media on Thursday.
Bolsonaro also confirmed the appointment, saying on Twitter that the Justice Ministry would now also handle public security.
Moro said he hoped to “consolidate progress against crime and corruption.’’
Bolsonaro has announced a massive crackdown on crime and even suggested the use of snipers against criminals, raising human rights concerns.
Moro handled many of the cases forming part of the vast Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scandal, which centred on bribes that entrepreneurs paid to politicians in exchange for contracts with the semi-public oil giant Petrobras.
He was responsible for jailing former president, Lula, who had been expected to easily defeat Bolsonaro until he was excluded from the presidential race after starting to serve a 12-year prison sentence for corruption in April.
Lula was replaced by the less charismatic former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, who suffered a heavy defeat to Bolsonaro in Oct. 28, poll.
Moro’s entry into Bolsonaro’s cabinet revealed that he had acted out of political motives, Lula and Haddad’s Workers’ Party (PT) said.
“Moro shows his partiality in ‘Lava Jato’ by accepting a post in Bolsonaro’s government,’’ the party tweeted.
Bolsonaro will be sworn in on January 1, 2019.