Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes recently reversed all decisions made during an Operation Car Wash case, which had seen a prominent businessman thrown into prison.
In early April, Justice Mendes ruled to close three cases against Walter Faria, owner of major brewer Petrópolis, who had been accused of money laundering.
At least one of Justice Mendes’s colleagues on the Supreme Court was left shocked by the decision, telling newspaper O Globo that justices will have to reveal “how they will refund the money seized” in the case. The same source added that the move could “scrap” the legacy of Operation Car Wash — the largest anti-corruption investigation in Brazil’s history.
The decision was heavily based on illegal links between Sergio Moro — the then-head Car Wash judge — and the prosecution task force. Mr. Moro criticized the ruling on Twitter, saying “Gilmar Mendes wants to annul the operation entirely.” The pair are long-time foes, with Justice Mendes claiming last year that the anti-corruption probe used “torture methods” to seek prosecutions.