Brazilian General Luiz Gonzaga Schroeder Lessa told reporters that if the Federal Superior Tribunal did not give the green light to the prison sentence of former President Ignacio Lula da Silva tomorrow, the “only option left would be a military intervention.”
“The Armed Forces have to restore public order,” he told the daily Estadao, claiming that if the Tribunal allowed Lula to remain free during the presidential electoral campaign, this decision will foment violence,” a few days after Lula's caravan was repeatedly attacked as he was campaigning for the upcoming elections.
Lula's caravan was shot at several times last Wednesday as it travelled between the cities of Quedas del Iguazu and Laranjeiras do Sul in the southern state of Parana.
Schroeder Lessa's comments are not isolated in the country, as General Paulo Chagas also affirmed that “we want to avoid that the law changes and that the leader of a criminal organization, sentenced to 12 years in prison, could circulate freely, spreading hate and class struggle.”
A regional court in Brazil, which had sentenced former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to 12 years in prison for corruption, rejected on Monday the appeal request filed by his defense team leaving him one step away from prison as he awaits the ruling of the country’s Supreme Court on April 4.
The three judges of the eighth chamber of the Federal Regional Court of Porto Alegre unanimously rejected the appeals filed by Lula's lawyers and thus opened the doors of the jail, however, he will not be arrested before the ruling by the country’s top court.
The Brazilian Supreme Court, sitting in the capital Brasilia, will decide whether losing the appeal at the lower court would automatically mean Lula's immediate arrest and incarceration, or if he would be given recourse to seek further legal action.