A single federal judge has overseen the adjudication of Brazil’s vast corruption scandal involving state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, issuing a string of warrants and multiyear prison sentences against some of the country’s most powerful executives.
In the process, Sergio Moro has become in the past year something of a cult figure in Brazil. Magazines regularly feature him on their covers. During recent antigovernment protests demonstrators held life-size puppets of him and signs saying, “Moro, the Brazilian people thank you.” Diners have broken into spontaneous applause when he enters restaurants.
But a recent Supreme Court decision will take some corruption cases out of Mr. Moro’s hands, threatening to unravel his legacy and upend the blockbuster investigation. The ruling has some Brazilians fearing that the nation’s fight against impunity could unravel without the hard-nosed Mr. Moro at the helm.