Brazil Judge Who Convicted Lula Takes Post in Bolsonaro’s Cabinet

Brazil Judge Who Convicted Lula Takes Post in Bolsonaro’s Cabinet

Still, Mr. Taylor and other analysts said the strategic smarts that made Mr. Moro a successful judge may bring about positive changes.

“Moro is more than qualified to be the minister of justice,” said Roberta Braga, a Brazil expert at the Atlantic Council. “It bodes well for passing structural anti-corruption reforms.”

Mr. Moro’s name had been floated as a presidential contender in recent years, but he said repeatedly and emphatically that he intended to steer clear of politics.

Joice Hasselmann, a journalist who wrote a biography of Mr. Moro and was elected to Congress last month, said Mr. Moro overcame his reservations about entering politics because “he felt the responsibility when he was called upon.”

Ms. Hasselmann, a staunch ally of Mr. Bolsonaro, said Mr. Moro was assured that he will have the freedom to pursue corruption without political interference. His arrival in the capital, Brasilía, will be greeted with fear by much of the old guard, she predicted.

“I’m sure several of the political chieftains are despairing,” Ms. Hasselmann said in an interview. “They will have someone very close who can cross the street and haul them to jail.”

Mr. Moro has written extensively about anti-corruption campaigns in other countries, including in Italy. In the text message, he drew a parallel between his career and that of the Italian judge Giovanni Falcone, who took on the Sicilian Mafia during the 1980s. Mr. Falcone was assassinated by mob leaders in 1992.

“The celebrated Italian jurist, who was far better than I, also left the bench and went to work at the justice ministry, having grasped the need for broader measures against the Mafia,” Mr. Moro wrote.

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