Brazil: Lula kept in jail by regional court

Published On: July 9, 2018 01:15 PM NPT By: Agencies

PORTO ALEGRE, July 9: The president of the Federal Regional Court (TRF-4), Thompson Flores, has decided to keep Lula in prison.

In an apparent turn in events judge Thompson Flores rules that the case returns to judge Gebran and that therefore its decision to maintain Lula in prison remains valid.

Appeal judge Rogerio Favreto of the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region based in Porto Alegre, reaffirmed Sunday afternoon his decision to grant freedom to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as two judges attempted to question his authority, further giving the police a deadline of one hour to release the former socialist president.

Lula has been imprisoned since April 7 in Curitiba over alleged charges of corruption that investigators failed to provide evidence for. 

Shortly after the release order, Brazilian Judge Sergio Moro, who presided over a corruption case against former President Lula da Silva, said  that Lula should stay in prison because the judge who ordered his release lacks the authority to do so. Moro is currently on vacation and without jurisdiction in the case.

However Favreto stood his ground and later issued another decision affirming that he had full authority to accept the Habeas Corpus filed by his lawyers to the appeal court weeks ago. He said the police had one hour to release Lula, and stressed that Moro should be arrested for failing to comply with a an order by a higher court.

His first order demands the suspension of the provisional sentence and grants Lula freedom immediately.

“The release order must be urgently complied with today by the presentation of this order to any police authority at the prison center of the federal police office in Curitiba, where the accused is being held,” says the release order.

Lula was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his alleged involvement in the Lava Jato Operation, accused of passive corruption and money laundering, charges he and his supporters flatly deny. 

According to Lula's legal team, Moro and the federal police acted "as a monolithic block against Lula's freedom, showing that there is no separation between the performance of the magistrate and the prosecutor."

He was granted immediate release after the lawmakers Wadih Damous, Paulo Pimenta and Paulo Teixeira submitted a “Habeas Corpus” request to Favreto.

“At the current stage, the illegal and unconstitutional provisional execution of the sentence imposed on the former president Lula can’t stop his political rights neither restrict the right to acts related to his condition as a pre-candidate to president of the republic,” said Favreto, who was a member of the Workers’ Party for 19 years.

Lula's Workers' Party (PT) issued a statement shortly after the decision. "Through the decision of the Favreto, the judicial system, which was so often manipulated to persecute Lula and deprive him of freedom, now recognizes that he has the right to defend himself in freedom in the higher instances, as the Constitution guarantees to everyone," the PT said in a press release Sunday afternoon.

"And it decides, mainly, that society has the right to know, through the voice of Lula himself, his proposals to get Brazil out of this immense crisis, to resume the path of democracy, social justice and the construction of the equality."

However, the judge Sergio Moro, who sentenced Lula in the first place, is trying to revoke the release order.


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