Bolsonaro appoints judge who helped jail Lula to lead justice ministry

Bolsonaro appoints judge who helped jail Lula to lead justice ministry
Bolsonaro appoints judge who helped jail Lula to lead justice ministry

Sérgio Moro, who led ‘Car Wash’ investigation that jailed ex-president, accepts offer from president-elect

Judge Sérgio Moro leaves the house of the Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro after a meeting, in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. Photograph: Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

The Brazilian federal judge Sérgio Moro, a crusading anti-corruption judge, has accepted an offer from the far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro to lead the justice ministry, drawn by the chance to implement a broad agenda to combat graft and organised crime.

Moro, who led the so-called “Operation Car Wash” investigation resulting in a 12-year bribery sentence for the former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said he would hand over the reins of that sprawling investigation to other judges to avoid controversy.

The appointment will likely be hailed by many Brazilians who want to see a crackdown on corruption. But it will also likely add to political polarization: many accuse Moro of going after left-leaning politicians.

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