Brazil: Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva demanded this Thursday that his Communications Minister, Juscelino Filho, “prove his innocence” to continue in government after suspicions that he used public money for a personal trip.
“He has the right to prove his innocence, but if you can’t prove his innocence about him, you can’t stay in government,” the progressive president said in an interview with BandNews radio station.
The leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) reported that he summoned the minister above, who is currently abroad, for a meeting next Monday in which they will address the complaints that have appeared this week in the Brazilian press.
According to the influential newspaper ‘O Estado de Sao Paulo,’ the licensed federal deputy used a Brazilian Air Force (FAB) plane and allowances paid with public funds to participate in horse competitions in Sao Paulo.
This Thursday, the Ministry of Communications indicated that Juscelino Filho had returned the broadcasting rights. However, the office said he had official commitments during his stay in Sao Paulo, which justified his transfer on a FAB plane.
However, according to O Estado de Sao Paulo, ‘the minister also has other suspicions related to the irregular application of public money for his benefit or the sending of false information to the Electoral Court.
For his part, Lula insisted in the interview that “everyone who is accused of something has the right to prove his innocence.”
“If he is innocent, he will stay in the government; if he is guilty, he will leave the government,” said the Brazilian president, who took office on January 1 for his third term after governing the country between 2003 and 2010.
Juscelino Filho is one of the 37 ministers that make up Lula’s cabinet.
He has training in medicine, specializing in radiology, and is a member of the Unión Brasil party (center-right).