At the 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Panama, the 13 prosecutors of the Carwash Operation said today they are ready to resign if the Senate and the President approve the recent Congress bill that limits their independence.
The bill opens the door for prosecuting judges and prosecutors to be charged for carrying out their normal functions.
While accepting the 2016 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Award, Deltan Dallagnol, the coordinator of the Car Wash Task Force said: “We are not giving up, but we need to remain independent and cannot accept to be helpless when legislators use their power to protect themselves.
“Alone, our fight will be in vain. We will be defeated if Brazilians and the international community do not take a strong stance through democratic and pacific channels that may awake Congress to the fact that no one – not even Congress – is above the rule of law”.
José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International, said: “It takes courage and integrity to successfully fight against corruption. All the prosecutors of the Carwash Taskforce have been leading by example. Now that their survival and the success of the case is at stake, Transparency International will stand with them and amplify their voice in these critical days.”
The state prosecutors from the Carwash Task Force have been on the front line of investigations in Brazil since April 2014. Dealing with one of the world’s biggest corruption scandals, the Petrobras case, they have investigated, prosecuted, and obtained heavy sentences against some of the most powerful members of Brazil’s economic and political elites.
With their national campaign “10 Measures against Corruption”, they pushed for legislative reforms to enhance the capacity of public administrators to prevent and detect corruption, and law enforcers to investigate, prosecute and sanction it.
The Senate has yet to vote on the legislation and already protests have started to reverse the changes made to the original 10 Measures against Corruption.
The Anti-Corruption Award honours remarkable individuals and organisations worldwide, journalists, prosecutors, government officials, and civil society leaders who expose and fight corruption.
Paragraph five of this press release was updated on 3 December 2016 at 6pm EST.
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