Brazil: Lula almost in prison

The Supreme Court rejected the first appeal of the former president of Brazil to avoid prison imprisonment

Brazil: Lula almost in prison

Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva, former president of Brazil, once again faced a judicial stumble, upon receiving the refusal of the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ, its acronym in Portuguese) in his first appeal to avoid jail.

After the refusal of this institution to habeas corpus, which appealed the defense of the leader of the Workers Party (PT), with the intention to paralyze the immediate execution of the sentence that sentenced him to 12 years in prison for passive corruption and money laundering, there would be only one appeal to Lula before the Supreme Court to avoid being imprisoned in the coming weeks.

It should be noted that this decision was taken unanimously by the members of the STJ, its five members, because as they explained, they would not study the merits of this case, where the former president is accused of having accepted a triplex apartment in the beach, of the construction company OAS in exchange for having guaranteed the company juicy contracts with Petrobras during its government (2003-2010) .

The sentence was issued by Sérgio Moro in the first instance in 2017, while the Federal Regional Court of 4, of Porto Alegre confirmed this ruling on January 24, where it was also agreed to order its immediate execution.

The reactions have not been made wait by the defense in the hands of lawyer José Paulo Sepúlveda Pertence, who stressed that "The court preferred to maintain the punitive position that is fashionable in the country and lost the opportunity to evolve and return to give the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence its due value". At the same time, he was emphatic in explaining that imprisonment can only be ordered when all the higher instances to which recourse can be had are exhausted.

It is important to explain that Lula still has legal possibilities to which he may apply, after the TRF4 publishes the clarifications on his sentence and before Judge Moro orders the execution of the sentence. When this happens, the defense may file extraordinary appeals both before the STJ and before the Federal Supreme Court, where they will seek to prevent jail imprisonment, but after the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, it is assumed that the future of the exmandatario will remain in the Supreme Court.

Although it should also be noted that, in this aspect, there is not a good scenario for Da Silva, because his defense lawyers had already presented a preventive habeas corpus, but this was denied by one of the magistrates, who referred this case to the plenary and the date for its study has not yet been defined.

It will remain to assess what the future of the PT leader will be, taking into account that it is expected that the same court that tried Lula at second instance, will judge the defense's appeal this month, after the vacation period of Judge Víctor Laus, next March 23.

Now, considering that, after the decision of the Supreme Court in 2016, the condemned in second instance could go to jail on a provisional basis, the most visible scenario at this time is the reclusive measure for Luis Ignacio Lula Da Silva.

"I will be a political prisoner"

The leader of the workers' party insisted on his innocence and said that if they do not present evidence against him, they will have to consider him as a "political prisoner". Even Da Silva himself said that "if I do not prove a real (illegal) in my account or a dollar that is not mine in my account, I will have to be considered a political prisoner".

At the same time, he attributed the entire process that is taking place against him as a persecution to avoid to prevent him from winning the presidential elections in 2019.

Lula for president in 2019?

There is a determining factor at the present time that is facing the former president of Brazil and, despite being tapped in the find with 36% in the intentions to vote, the Brazilian electoral legislation (by the so-called law clean record) , do not allow the candidacy for an elective office of a person who has been convicted in the second instance by a collegiate body.

Despite this, the same party headed by Lula Da Silva, the PT, announced that they will try to register their candidacy, while all the resources are exhausted before the higher instances. Although, inside, they begin to analyze the names of candidates that can replace the former president.


Latin American Post | Julio Abella

Translated from "Lula cerca de prisión"


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