Brazil's icon Lula da Silva walked free from jail on Friday after a year and a half behind bars for corruption following a court ruling that could release thousands of convicts. The former president, wearing a black T-shirt and suit jacket, pumped his fist in the air as he exited the federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba and was quickly mobbed by hundreds of supporters and journalists.
Supreme Court judges in Brazil began voting Wednesday on whether to overturn a law requiring convicted criminals to go to jail after losing their first appeal, instead of waiting until the end of the legal process. A favorable ruling could result in the freeing of scores of convicts, including leftist former president Lula da Silva, who is serving eight years and 10 months for corruption.
On Sunday, Brazil’s top electoral court ruled that “Lula”, former president Luiz Inácio da Silva, cannot run in the presidential election this October. He served two terms as president (2003-2011), he dutifully waited out the following two terms, and his Workers’ Party (PT) has nominated him for the presidency again.
Jose Dirceu, former chief of staff under ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, surrendered last Friday to start a nearly 31-year prison sentence for corruption, officials said. Dirceu lost an appeal against his conviction for money laundering, corruption and membership of a criminal group, at a court in Porto Alegre on Thursday.
Brazil's ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday lashed out against his imprisonment for corruption but the government rejected his claim to have been victim of a farce and a judge stripped him of presidential privileges. In a column in French newspaper Le Monde, Lula called his conviction and 12 year sentence for graft a judicial farce and said that presidential elections would be unfair without his participation.
A man was seriously wounded early on Saturday when a gunman opened fire on a vigil in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, where former president Lula da Silva is serving time for corruption, his party said.