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News > Latin America

Lula's Defense Presents Habeas Corpus to Prevent Detainment

  • Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio

    Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva raises his fist during a speech shortly after an appeals court upheld his conviction. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 January 2018

The habeas corpus outlined that Lula's detainment must be deferred until all legal options have been exhausted by his defense lawyers.

Defense lawyers representing former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva have presented Brazil's Supreme Court of Justice, STJ, with a habeas corpus request to prevent the possible detainment of their client as ordered by Brazil's Fourth Regional Federal Court, TRF-4. The defense team claims that complying with the order is inconstitutional.

Mujica Slams Brazil's Justice System After Ruling Against Lula

The habeas corpus request cites the Code of Criminal Procedure, which states that incarceration should only occur “as a result of a final conviction,” otherwise, deferred until all legal options have been exhausted by his defense lawyers.

Last week, Lula lost his appeal against a 2017 corruption conviction in a major blow to his chances of regaining office. The unanimous decision was reached after all three appeal court judges in the case voted to uphold the decision of a lower court.

The sentence was grounded on claims that he and his wife illicitly received millions in kickbacks from the OAS Group construction company as well as furniture and improvements to their beachfront apartment in Guaruja.

While Lula can still take his appeal to a higher court, the Workers' Party has said that there will be no surrendering “before injustice” and that the former head of state continues to be their presidential candidate. The statement went on to read that the people will not "passively sit by" and "watch democracy and the will of the majority be trashed," adding that its members “will confirm Lula's (presidential) candidacy during our party convention and register him on Aug. 15, rigorously adhering to the electoral legislation.”

The 72-year-old leftist leader has maintained that the case is politically motivated to remove him from the presidential race.

Prior to the appeal court ruling Lula told a crowd of supporters at the Metallurgical Trade Union in Sao Bernardo do Campo that he was "very calm, and I'm with the awareness that I have committed no crime."

After the court upheld his sentence, he addressed a crowd of supporters in Republic Square in the capital city Sao Paulo, telling then to not be “concerned” about him, but to be “concerned with the 210 million Brazilians, above all the workers,” according to Brasil 24/7. He added that “they can detain Lula, but they cannot detain a dream of liberty, they cannot detain ideas, they cannot detain hope.”

A recent poll conducted by the Instituto Quaest revealed that 54.7 percent of 300,000 Brazilian internet users reveals believe that the TRF-4 ruling against Lula was made in error. The survey was conducted during Jan. 24 and 25.

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