Brazil's Minister of Institutional Relations, Jaques Wagner, assured Wednesday, March 22, that the Planalto Palace (the presidential executive office) was not the source of any request to violate the banking privacy of Francenildo Costa.
Costa is the caretaker who accused the Brazilian Finance Minister, Antônio Palocci, of participation in a scheme to divvy up unreported political campaign funds collected in Ribeirão Preto, in the interior of São Paulo state, where he was mayor.
"I can guarantee that no orientation emerged from the Planalto Palace to violate the legal order of the democratic State," the minister declared during a seminar sponsored by the Council of Economic and Social Development, in Brasília.
Wagner stressed that the violation of banking privacy represents an act of "violence against people's democratic rights" but that it will only be possible to identify who was responsible after the Federal Police investigation that is currently underway is concluded.
"Whoever was responsible for violating privacy, which is inadmissible in a democratic State, must be punished," he pointed out.
The minister also insisted that Palocci has the support of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and will be kept on as minister of finance. "President Lula backs Palocci's position. Unless the investigations reveal something that impedes it, Minister Palocci will remain in his post."