Brazilians Stunned By Death Of Supreme Court Justice Ahead Of "Explosive Testimony"

Tyler Durden's picture

The death of Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki who had presided over the sprawling "Carwash" corruption scandal, and who died yesterday in a freak airplane crash has sent shockwaves both around the globe and in Brazil, because while few in polite company will discuss it, it has opened the possibility of political assassinations as a means of "quieting" legal proceedings.

And as Reuters reports today, while the death of the judge will likely not derail the country's biggest ever graft probe, it will delay it, "handing valuable breathing space to President Michel Temer" who many have accused of being even more corrupt than his predecessor.

While there is no evidence yet of "foul play", the timing of the death is oddly coincidental, especially since the upcoming revelations could have had damaging implications for Brazil's still relatively new president Temer.

As a reminder, Justice Zavascki was killed in a plane crash on Thursday, "just weeks before he was due to unveil explosive testimony from executives at engineering group Odebrecht SA that is expected to implicate as many as 200 politicians in a vast kickback scandal" Reuters notes.

While the Police are investigating the crash in which a small, twin-prop plane that was carrying him plunged into the sea south of Rio de Janeiro during heavy rain, it is unlikely that they will find anything damaging.

And now, thanks to the tragic delay, postponing the fallout from evidence that could incriminate powerful political figures in Temer's coalition, and perhaps Temer himself, gives the president more time to push through reforms to generous pension and labor rules and restore business confidence in a country stuck in a two-year recession.

Temer has already lost four cabinet members to corruption allegations. Several other ministers and leaders of his PMDB party in Congress have been named in Odebrecht plea deals, raising concern about the survival of his government. 

"This can give Temer more room to move ahead with his reform agenda in Congress but Zavascki's death won't stall or change the course of the investigations," said Thiago de Aragao quoted by Reuters, partner at ARKO consultancy that advises corporations and banks on investment in Brazil. "It will just pause it for a while." Temer, who has himself been named by one defendant as a recipient of illegal campaign funds, has said he will rapidly appoint a new justice who, under Supreme Court rules, would take over Zavascki's cases.

"In the short-run, any delay works in Temer's favor because it will put off the instability that the new accusations will bring," said Roberto Dias, a constitutional law professor at the FGV think tank in Sao Paulo. "But it's bad for Brazil."

And since Temer will likely try to float a judge "friendly" to his cause, it will be up to the Brazilian Senate to confirm him. That process, however, will weeks if not months after Congress returns from its Christmas recess in February. The new judge would then need to get up to speed on the sprawling corruption investigation, dubbed Operation Car Wash, which is centered on bribes and political kickbacks from state-run companies, principally oil company Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., commonly known as Petrobras.

"Zavascki was ready to resolve Car Wash promptly and take decisions that would clear up who could stay in government or Congress and who had to go," said Ives Gandra Martins, a constitutional lawyer in Sao Paulo.

And, as Reuters adds, those decisions will be delayed until at least March or April, Martins said, preventing Brazil from turning the page on a corruption probe so massive and complex it paralyzed public sector construction projects and deepened the recession.

That, however, is too long for some Brazilians who want to know which of their leaders were embroiled in the scandal that involved at least 6.4 billion reais ($2 billion) in bribes for contracts with state-run enterprises. More details:

In Brazil, federal politicians and other senior officials can only be tried by the Supreme Court. Given the public's suspicion of politicians, the Supreme Court should opt for a rule that in urgent cases lets it name a replacement from its ranks, rather than wait for Temer's nominee, said left-leaning Senator Cristovam Buarque.


"Any presidential choice would be questionable," Buarque said in a telephone interview. "It has got to be quick. Brazil cannot wait another six months. We want to know what happened and who should be punished."

Resistance to Temer subverting the judicial process is rising and at least one justice on the 11-seat court, Marco Aurelio Mello, has come out publicly in favor of one of his peers immediately taking charge of Car Wash. Though he was appointed by impeached former President Dilma Rousseff, the 68-year-old Zavascki had gained a reputation as independent and willing to target corrupt politicians of any stripe, including Rousseff's Workers Party.

"In the short-run, any delay works in Temer's favor because it will put off the instability that the new accusations will bring," said Roberto Dias, a constitutional law professor at the FGV think tank in Sao Paulo. "But it's bad for Brazil."

Meanwhile, as Reuters concludes, "for Brazilians dismayed by the scandals that Car Wash has uncovered, Zavascki's death - whether an accident or not - was just the latest reason to lose faith in their institutions. "

"His death will delay the Odebrecht testimony and, depending on who takes over, the Car Wash investigation could take a different course," said Rio de Janeiro systems analyst Bruno Bokel. "I do not believe in our justice system."

And with yet another country's population "losing faith" in its political institutions, Brazil is now ripe to be the next nation where an "anti establishment" candidate sweeps control from the status quo and changes the course of local history in the process

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kochevnik's picture

Airplane crashes are mafia 101.  Simply loosen bolts on the wings

peddling-fiction's picture

Escrava, your K-Street take on this is?

Croesus's picture

Brazil's version of what happened to Scalia...

Good guy, taken down for getting too close to the truth.

weburke's picture

welcome to fuckin clinton  bush world

Croesus's picture

The "I 'Heart' Communists" crowd is really skating on thin ice...

People were a lot more civil in the WWII days; not so much any more.

RiverRoad's picture

JFK, Jr. come in come in.............over and out.

HowdyDoody's picture

He was investigation the corruption of the pro-US individuals who gained power after the coup against Dilma Rouseff.

By an amazing coincidence, he was carrying all the evidence with him on his plane trip. That evidence is now lost forever. /sarc

MalteseFalcon's picture

However, they did find his passport.

booboo's picture

CIA must be real good to convince jr to fly into low visibility when other experienced ir rated pilots held. Ego kills more pilots than anything, well not including the sudden stop.

RiverRoad's picture

And they/CIA  ARE real good.  It's hard to get tapped for Skull & Bones; let alone get into Yale.  Kennedy egos were never hard to massage.  Easy peasy.  It was always damn the torpedos with them to their detriment.

The Deep State old monied families in this country really know how to protect their interests.

junction's picture

One of the last acts of the Clinton crime cartel.  A favor to Temer.  Maybe Brazil can have the NTSB investigate this crash and find nothing, just as in the case of the JFK Jr. plane crash.

fleur de lis's picture

JFKJr. had been cleared for landing.

He was a better pilot that the stupid MSM would have us all believe.

The problem was that he was planning to run for NYS Senate, and that put him on a direct collision course with Hellish.

Think about it -- in a primary between Hellish and JFK Jr who would win?


Mr. Bones's picture

Small planes, small boats, hot tubs, exercise equipment, construction equipment, Mercedes Benz, public parks...

zhandax's picture

As soon as I read "overwhelmed FBI" I realized this was horseshit.

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) kochevnik Jan 20, 2017 6:07 PM

The Russians did it

XqWretch's picture

Brazil... what a shithole

centerline's picture

Future model for the "developed" world. 

c2nnib2l's picture

sounds like TU-154 ( probably Clinton's people job as suggested by Wikileaks :) 

besnook's picture

well, of course! the zionazis are global.

Onan_the_Barbarian's picture

Perhaps they looked to Scalia 'wetworks' as an example.

VWAndy's picture

 They will most likely get away with it. At best they get some lipservice.

tripletail's picture

Someone copied the CIA playbook.

ThirdWorldDude's picture

Yes, someone is protecting his ass(ets).

thesoothsayer's picture

It was no accident. Probably the CIA.  Read Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

He's having a chat with Paul Wellstone in "heaven" who's telling him about 9/11!!!

hangemhigh77's picture

What a terrible "accident". Gee it's just karma I guess. There's no way a CIA agent would have tampered with the plane so it crashes and everyone on board is mashed to paste, that would be illegal.

hangemhigh77's picture

Time for a celebration, pizza and hotdogs for all tonight.

NoWayJose's picture

You're ready to testify against the government and bad people supporting a corrupt leader - and you get anywhere near a small two seater plane? Too stupid to live!

SeuMadruga's picture

Maybe it's still safer than staying on the brazilian ground...  :(

falak pema's picture

So much for free market oligarchy take over of Brazil.

Now we start killing the judges; like in 1964.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

The JFK Jr. plane crash was immediately deemed pilot error by an unknown Ait Force Captain at the Pentagon before the bodies were even pulled from the water.


Since when does the Pentagon rule on civilian small plane crashes?

RiverRoad's picture

Since they "do 'em".....  Especially for the gal who wants to run for senator of New York one year later.

The bodies were never pulled from the water.  The families allowed the crash site to be their final resting place.

Karaio's picture

Most people here know that I live in Brazil.
My reading is that, killing the Supreme Court Judge was a shot in the foot!
He confided that he was shaken by the award-winning complaint from the Odebrecht directors, that would affect more than 200 corrupt politicians.
The fight went up!
The Judges and Prosecutors as well as the Federal Police officers involved in Operation Lavajato are civil servants, very capable people (for you to have an idea, to assume a single vacancy is around 5 to 10,000 candidates depending on the position, wages are high for the Brazilian standards).
Now the fight will be between corrupt civil servants and politicians.
There is another variant that no one is noticing, the military is not enjoying anything being sent to stabilize prisons ...
The mess is so much bigger than you think.


logicalman's picture

Anyone 'stunned' by this has not been watching closely enough.

sinbad2's picture

Just the CIA doing what it does best.

RiverRoad's picture

Best thing about ALL of this kind of stuff:  Trump knoes EVERYTHING we know.

.300WinMag's picture

People of Brazil (and anywhere else) - at what point are you going to join forces and pick up a rock / hammer / axe / firearm - and clean f*ckin house?

radbug's picture

Sounds like Yeltsin's Russia.

oncemore's picture

No. SOUNDS LIKE usa/cia/serco.

VWAndy's picture

 The good news. This is how the game is being played. You should know.

The bad news. Your in it too.

Dilluminati's picture

nailgun dirt nap.. 

so jeja-vuu 

alexcojones's picture

"Forget it, Jake, It's Chinatown," always sums it up for me.


dunce's picture

Argentina had a similar event about a year ago. They have been watching the clintons and learning.

oncemore's picture

a typical SECO/CIA action.

See JFK junior.

onmail1's picture

Brazil is possessed by CIA

It was CIA that changed the govt

And probly CIA killed this man

Scalia effect

musimann's picture

if you can't beat 'em kill 'em..........