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Judges open a court battle in Brazil for the release of former President Lula da Silva

Workers ' party leader is among the favorites for next October's presidential election

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Judges open a court battle in Brazil for the release of former President Lula da Silva

Brazil is living this Sunday a judicial conflict for release of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of Party of workers, prisoner and condemned for corruption. Appellate Judge Rogerio Fravreto ordered his urgent release this morning, but his decision has not yet been implemented. After being questioned by Judge Sérgio Moro, responsible for Petrobras case in first judicial instance, a third judge blocked order to release former president. But Favreto has insisted on his decision this afternoon, by reenacting release of politician.

More information
  • Chronology of investigation that led to condemnation of Lula da Silva

Favreto, who was on duty at Federal Regional Court 4, accepted habeas corpus petition presented by members of Workers ' Party (PT) for exagent to leave prison in which he has been since 7 April. The leader of Workers ' Party is serving a 12-year sentence and a month in prison for passive corruption and money laundering for accepting a luxury triplex in Sao Paulo as a payment by OAS builder for its political favors.

Urgent: The Dispossessor Rodrigo Favreto of Tribunal 4th of Porto Alegre orders that Lula be released today (Sunday 8/7), by request of habeas corpus of deputies Wadih Damous, Paulo Pimenta and Paulo Teixeira of Workers ' Party.

— Nacho Lemus (@LemusteleSUR) July 8, 2018

The warrant for release of Judge Favreto has triggered a lawsuit, in which federal judge Sergio Moro has also intervened — who sentenced Lula in first instance to nine years and six months in prison —. Moro dictated a car in which he questioned competence of magistrate who ordered release of Lula.

The appellate judge ordered "urgent compliance" with release of any police authority in Federal police superintendent's prison in Curitiba, where Lula is held. Lula's release has been decided by Federal Regional Court-4, a second-instance court, inferior to Supreme Court, which had already denied requests for habeas corpus to Lula.

Judge Favreto argued his decision that Lula's pre-candidacy to next October's elections ( official candidacy can only be announced in August) is a "new episode" That affects Lula's prisoner status, so he must allow his full Freedom so that it can fulfil aspiration to participate in fact in democratic process. The judge also points out illegalities in decision to imprison former president. In his view, re was an "absence of justification", for failing to respect possibility of presenting resources to which Lula was still entitled before he was detained.

Judge Sergio Moro, in charge of investigations of Jato Lava in Brazil, on plot of corruption of Petrobras, and enemy number one of Lula, questioned that judge Favreto has authority to order release of former president, when three judges Of that court had already decided orwise. "It is an incompetent authority to overcome joint decision of judges of TRF-4 and Supreme Court," wrote Head of justice in Curitiba, in state of Paraná, where Lula is imprisoned. A regional prosecutor's office acting in same jurisdiction as TRF-4 also declared itself against. Three experts interviewed by country say that judge on duty did have power to carry out decision to release Lula. Everything indicates that this new episode will ignite legal battle that was established in Brazil since judicial investigation of case of Lava Jato in 2014.

The trade union leader has exhausted almost second instance and only has to go to High Courts — supreme and constitutional — to reverse sentence. If it becomes firm, it would prevent it from being able to appear in presidential elections on October 7th and 28th.


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