'Brazil’s justice minister is facing growing calls to resign after a series of politically explosive leaks that some observers believe could have a profound effect on Brazilian politics and the administration of the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro.
Sérgio Moro became an A-list celebrity in Brazil for leading the historic “Car Wash” anti-corruption investigation.
He controversially took his job last year after helping jail Bolsonaro’s key election rival, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and has been widely tipped as a future president himself.
But Moro’s political future was thrown into doubt on Sunday after the Intercept began publishing a series of exposés based on what it called “a vast trove” of secret documents provided by an anonymous source.
The Intercept said its “Secret Brazil Archive” reports – which contained compromising excerpts from mobile phone chats between Moro and Car Wash prosecutors – showed he had engaged in “improper and unethical plotting” designed to ensure Lula’s imprisonment.
Lula was prevented from taking part in last year’s presidential election – which polls suggested he would have won – after being convicted of bribe taking and corruption by Moro in 2017. He is currently serving an almost nine-year sentence in southern Brazil.
Moro has rejected accusations of wrongdoing as “sensationalist” smears and his supporters branded the leaks a criminal conspiracy designed to undermine the former judge and Bolsonaro’s administration.
But on Tuesday – as Brazilian politicians braced for further revelations promised by the Intercept - there were calls for Moro’s removal.
“Moro has to go,” said Guilherme Boulos, a left-wing leader some see as a potential heir to Lula.'
Read more: Bolsonaro tight-lipped as minister faces calls to resign over Lula scandal
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