Updated 08:21 AM EST, Fri, Jan 21, 2022

Brazil Ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Calls Investigators 'Arrogant'

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One of Brazil's most popular former presidents, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has been questioned by police on Friday, as part of the ongoing graft and corruption scandal involving a number of the country's prominent politicians and the state-run oil company, Petrobras, whose funds were allegedly channeled into political campaigns.

'Arrogant' Investigators

The former president's stint with the police, which involved authorities raiding his home and subsequently detaining him, was greatly denounced by da Silva. At a rally late Friday in Sao Paolo, the former president described the experience.

"I felt like a prisoner this morning. If they are a cent more honest than I, then I will leave politics," he said, asserting his innocence. The former president also stated that the authorities were "arrogant" during the events. 

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was once da Silva's protege and also his hand-picked successor, has expressed her "total in conformity" with the authorities' operation against her predecessor.

The operation against da Silva started at about 6:00 a.m., when the police arrived at the former president's residence in greater Sao Paulo's Sao Bernardo do Campo. After apprehending the former president, he was taken to a federal police station at Congonhas airport, where he was released after four hours of interrogation, reported Yahoo! Finance.

A Crackdown Beyond da Silva

It was not just da Silva's home that was targeted by authorities on Friday, however, as authorities have also confirmed that the former president's nonprofit organization, Instituto Lula, as well as properties connected to da Silva and his family members, were also searched by the police.

One of his sons was allegedly taken in for questioning as well.

Before the massive graft scandal exploded in the Latin American country, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva towered over Brazilian politicians due to his contributions to the country's economy. Fondly known as "Lula," he served a significant role in ushering Brazil towards the international stage. His reign as president, from 2003 to 2010, is considered by many in the country as one of the most successful.

His successor, current Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, however, was not so fortunate. With the country's economy reeling amid the current crisis and allegations regarding her alleged corrupt practices in office, her reign as the country's president is almost the complete opposite of her predecessor.

As prosecutors continue to pursue leads into the graft scandal, even popular politicians such as da Silva are not safe. Responding to the controversy, the former president, who recently stated his intentions of running for the country's presidency in 2018, has stated that he will not be backing down.

"They're going to have to defeat me on the street. I'll be 72, but as hot and ready to go as a man of 30," he said. 

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