The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil (STF) decided to reject the judicial appeal filed by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to appeal while in freedom to a sentence for corruption that remains pending, so the former president should enter the prison and begin compliance of the sentence.
Lula, who enjoyed immense popularity after two terms at the head of the country between 2003 and 2010, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for helping the construction company OAS to obtain state tenders in exchange for the promise that he would receive a triplex department in first line of the beach.
The former leader has always maintained his innocence, noting that this case, like other corruption charges against him still pending trial, are attempts to keep him out of the presidential race. Despite the legal problems that have angered some Brazilians, polls indicates that Lula is the favorite to take power.
It is the second time that Lula has filed an appeal to avoid complying with the sentence. His first initiative received a setback in January, when an appeals court upheld the sentence and even extended from 9 to 12 the years he was supposed to spend in jail. This time it was not different and the highest court in Brazil, which met at 2:00 p.m. and finished at around 1:00 a.m., decided to reject the former president's request.
With 6 votes against and 5 in favor, the court gave its negative verdict to the habeas corpus presented by the defense, which argued that Lula should not yet comply with the sentence, because there are still many appeals to demand.
With this result, the former head of state would have to prove his innocence in prison, which will frustrate his intentions to campaign for the elections on October 5. This, because although Lula can present more similar resources, the Brazilian law could force him to start serving his sentence, as ordered by the judge in charge of the Car Wash operation, Sergio Moro -who condemned him- and other magistrates. .
However, although the Supreme Court is the country's main court, Lula is not going to enter the prison immediately. The former president still has until April 10 to file an appeal before the court of Porto Alegre, but legal experts agree that this stage is a formality and that the probability of success is minimal.
Lula has not stopped campaigning throughout his legal battle, criticizing his detractors and promising not to surrender. Last week, at a stop in the southern state of Paraná, where he was convicted by Moro, two of his convoy's vehicles were hit by gunfire, which caused no injuries.
Independently of his judicial situation, Lula's nomination to the Presidency will be settled in August, when the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (STE) admits or rejects the candidacies. In principle, the candidacy of Lula would be unfeasible, because the law provides that a person convicted in the second instance can not stand for an elective office. But, according to specialists in electoral law, it could also present its candidacy protected in precautionary measures of higher courts.