Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Brazil Sends Ex-President Lula To Prison

Brazilian court rules former president Lula can be jailed during second corruption appeal Brazilians protest ahead of ruling in Lula corruption trial
Steven Clarke | 07 April, 2018, 00:31

Former Brazilian President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva - who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment (after an appeal in January) - took to the Supreme Court to request freedom from incarceration while he explored all avenues of appeal.

The order was given on Thursday after the country's Supreme Court ruled that Lula da Silva must start serving a 12-year jail sentence for corruption, a move that may end his political career, reports CNN.

Federal Judge Sergio Moro said the 72-year-old must turn himself in before 5pm (local time) on Friday at the federal police headquarters in Curitiba.

In a sign of possible friction on the horizon, within minutes after Moro's arrest warrant, a fight broke out in front of the Lula Institute in Sao Paulo between hecklers and supporters of Da Silva.

A special cell "was prepared in advance.in which the ex-president will be separated from other prisoners, with no risk for his moral or physical integrity", Moro wrote.

However, Senator Lindbergh Farias, from Lula's Workers' Party, issued a defiant call for supporters to congregate in front of Lula's house in Sao Bernardo near Sao Paulo on Friday.

The ruling makes it practically impossible for Lula to contest the October 7 presidential elections, which he had been expected to easily win.

Cosby judge delivers 2 big victories to defense
The camera shows the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers, but not potential jurors who are being questioned as a group. One juror said the panel was split 10-2 in favor of conviction, while another said the group was more evenly divided.

Lula's left-wing Workers Party announced that the former president would address a rally in his home town of Sao Bernardo do Campo, a suburb of Sao Paulo, today. Despite his conviction, De Silva continues to lead in opinion polls and his party will continue to support him as their presidential candidate. According to the numerous questions, it is a maneuver aimed at preventing him from being a candidate in the elections, since all the polls present him as the clear favorite for the vote.

Venezuela's Foreign Ministry called the ruling "the most grotesque injustice", while President Nicolas Maduro tweeted that it "hurts the soul".

"People want to be close to President Lula after this injustice", he said.

Uruguayan Vice President Lucia Topolansky said there was no proof of Lula having owned the beachside penthouse whose renovation his corruption conviction was based on. "Nobody resists this man, who becomes an icon of the Latin American left and the champion of participatory democracy", he said.

He is facing accusations of corruption and money laundering.

His conviction stemmed from a wide-ranging corruption investigation into the state-run oil company Petrobras, dubbed "Operation Car Wash". His lawyers put out several statements saying they were filing injunctions in hopes of keeping him out of jail.

However, it would be hard for Bolsonaro, an advocate of far-right and populist political views, to court Lula's base of rural, working-class families.

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