Brazil’s Court Decides This Month If Lula Goes to Jail or Gets a Chance to Become President

    A Lula portrait

    Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will learn later this month of January whether a prison sentence against him is upheld, officials said, potentially knocking him out of this year’s presidential election.

    Lula was sentenced in July 2017 to 9.5 years behind bars after being convicted of corruption in Brazil’s “Car Wash” graft scandal.

    The court in Porto Alegre said it will rule on his appeal January 24. That could decide whether Lula can take part in October 2018 presidential elections in which he is currently the frontrunner.

    Although experts say Lula may still manage to find ways to appeal further, a ruling against him would throw the already unusual race into further uncertainty.

    After years of economic decline and corruption scandals, Brazilians are so far turning away from centrist, traditional candidates, with Lula a comfortable leader in the polls, despite his many legal problems.

    An appeals court spokesman said that a three-judge panel would consider the case.

    Lula’s lawyer, Cristiano Zanin, told Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that the appeal had been dealt with in “record time” – an indication of the pressure on the court to clarify the politically explosive situation.

    The sentence followed Lula’s conviction in a case where he was accused of benefiting from bribes from a major construction firm called OAS that were paid in the form of a luxury seaside apartment.

    Lula, who also faces six other corruption cases, says he is being persecuted by right wing opponents who do not want him back in power.

    Lula was hugely popular during his 2003-2010 two-term presidency, but his reputation has been damaged by steep economic decline under his handpicked successor Dilma Rousseff, also from the leftist Workers’ Party, and mammoth corruption revelations.

    Investigators have revealed that swaths of political parties and politicians – allegedly including current President Michel Temer, Lula and many others at the top – took bribes from big Brazilian companies for years in exchange for help in getting them contracts.

    Mercopress

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (2)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Marcela and Michel Temer, Brazil's First Couple

    Brazil’s Temer Has Been Warned: ‘Threaten the Golden Goose and You Will Be the Next to Fall’

    The impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, stands as both a significant ...

    Plagued by Bribery Scandals Brazil Hosts Corruption Forum

    Brazil’s Federal Sub-Comptroller General, Jorge Hage, argued for public financing of parties and electoral ...

    Lula during a march in Ipojuca, Pernambuco - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

    Brazil: Get Lula! Now! Or Else…

    The interminable, ghastly telenovela aiming at turning Brazil, the seventh-largest economy in the world, ...

    Has the Brazilian Judiciary Become a Mafia?

    The Brazilian judiciary has historically been so rife with corruption and nepotism that one ...

    Brazil’s Election Was No Surprise

    No one in Brazil was surprised when Jair Messias Bolsonaro was elected president on ...

    Michel Temer - Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

    Brazil’s President Survives Second Attempt to Push Him Out for Corruption

    Brazilian lawmakers have voted against suspending President Michel Temer and rejected the push to ...