Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva launched a book Friday in which he says he is ready to go to jail and serve a 12-year and one-month sentence on a corruption charge conviction.
The book, Truth Will Triumph: The People Know Why I am Being Condemned, was introduced in Sao Paulo at the Chemical Workers Union before a crowd of hundreds of cheering supporters.
The 212-page book is a collection of articles and a February interview with two journalists, an international-relations professor and the book's publisher.
Lula da Silva's conviction was upheld in January, and another court has denied his request for an injunction that would prevent him from being imprisoned as he appeals the ruling to the Superior Federal Tribunal.
That means it is possible that Lula da Silva could soon begin serving his sentence, even though he is the front-runner for the Oct. 7 presidential election. He previously served two terms as Brazil's president, in 2003-2011.
At the book launching, the former president said the charges against him are unfounded and called them part of a plan to prevent him from running for the presidency again.
If I am arrested I will be transformed into this country's first political prisoner in the 21st century, Lula da Silva said.
Last Wednesday a majority of judges in a Brazilian appeals court voted to uphold the corruption conviction against Lula da Silva, in a case that could bar Brazil's most popular politician from running in this year's general election.
Two of three judges on the case agreed with a lower court's decision last year that Lula had taken millions in bribes from a large construction firm in exchange for it winning government contracts. Lula, 72, was expected to be declared ineligible for the Oct. 7 election if his appeal was denied by at least two of three judges on the case.
Lula can still appeal to higher courts to delay a final decision, avoiding jail and stringing the process out long enough to register his candidacy by the Aug. 15 deadline, though an electoral court could eventually revoke his candidacy.