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Lula: Brazilian court ruling may release former president's prison



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Media caption Lula speaks to the BBC from jail earlier this year

Brazilian Supreme Court votes to repeal rule on criminal prison – A change that may

The decision, announced Thursday, stipulates that convicted criminals should only go to prison after having exhausted their appeal possibilities.

The change could lead to the release of thousands of prisoners, including Lula.

The left wing led Brazil between 2003 and 201

0, but was closed last year.

He was the favorite to win last year's presidential election, but he was jailed after being implicated in a major corruption investigation.

However, even if released, he will be barred from applying for office because of a criminal record.

  • Lula: A saint or a sinner?
  • Quick Guide to Brazil's Scandals

Lula has consistently denied all allegations against him and claims that they are politically motivated.

After being prevented from running, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro continues to win the race.

Lula's lawyers say they will demand "the immediate release of the former president" after talking to him on Friday.

What was the solution?

Judges voted in favor of re-interpreting the country's penal code in six to five votes issued Thursday.

It repeals a three-year rule that provides for immediate jail time for convicted criminals after they have lost their first complaint.

The Brazilian corruption scandal in Brazil, known as Operation Car Wash, initially focused on state-owned oil company Petrobras, but subsequently billions of dollars of bribery were uncovered – and dozens of high-ranking business leaders and politicians were jailed.

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Reuters

Caption of images

Lula supporters gathered in court Thursday

The mandatory prison rule is seen as helping prosecutors secure sentences and unravel the biggest corruption scandal by encouraging suspects to negotiate legal deals.

But critics say it violates Brazil's constitution – which states that no one can be imprisoned without due process of law.

The car wash group in the country described Thursday's rollover as "incompatible" with anti-corruption efforts.

The proposed change was also opposed by Sergio Moro, the judge who sentenced Lula, who is now executing Mr Bolsonaro's justice. Minister.

Chief Justice Jose Antonio Dias Tofoli, who votes in the deciding vote, stated that release would be made on a case-by-case basis.

The change could affect nearly 5,000 prisoners, according to estimates by the National Council of Justice.

What is Lula accused of?

Lula was jailed in 2018 after being sentenced to more than 12 years in prison, later reduced to eight years and 10 months, for receiving a beach apartment by an engineering company involved in the car wash investigation .

Earlier this year, he was sentenced to a further 12 years after being found guilty of accepting bribes in the form of repair work in a farmhouse by construction companies.

The 74-year-old Lula claims that all the charges against him are politically motivated.

He is a former trade union activist and remains an emblematic and popular figure of the Left.

Glazey Hoffman, leader of the Lula Workers' Party, called Thursday's development "a very important step in strengthening democracy and the constitution at a time when they are threatened by a far-right government."


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