Brazil former president Lula faces jail for corruption after supreme court ruling

Ousted president Dilma Rousseff has spoken candidly about the assumed political motivations of Lula's conviction: to prevent his candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections. Despite the legal troubles that have angered some Brazilians, da Silva leads preference polls to return to office. Opinion polls put him on course for a third term in October's election despite the conviction and six pending bribery cases.

Despite a conviction on corruption charges that could see him barred from running, da Silva is the front runner in that race.

"Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Lula, three leaders, one fact in common, they were all persecuted for defending the people", countered supporters of Lula da Silva's Workers' Party, or PT, on Twitter.

The Brazilian Democratic Movement party will formally decide which candidate it hopes to move forward with a selection to lead its party in the national election in either the month of June or July, during the Brazilian winter.

Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wipes sweat from his face during his presidential campaign rally with members of his Workers Party and leaders of other left-wing parties in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, April 2, 2018.

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Following the court's narrow decision against allowing Lula to remain free pending new appeals, it was expected that Brazil's chief anti-corruption judge, Sergio Moro, would soon issue an order for the two-term former president to be incarcerated. Lula's sentence was increased from 9 1/2 years to 12 years during a first failed appeal in January. "I can't accept an innocent man being in prison", she said.

After almost 11 hours of often heated debate, the Supreme Federal Tribunal voted 6-5 to deny Mr da Silva's request to stave off a 12-year prison sentence while he fights a conviction that he has always argued was nothing more than a ploy to keep him off of the October ballot.

There have been protests in Brazil, both for and against Lula. A 2010 Brazilian law prohibits those convicted of crimes that aren't overturned through an appeal from running for office for a minimum of eight years, according to BBC.

Lula himself was convicted of receiving a renovated beachfront apartment worth some 3.7 million reais ($1.1m, £790,000), as a bribe by engineering firm OAS. Some exemptions have been made in the past, and the ultimate decision in Lula's case would be made by the top electoral court if and when Lula officially files to be a candidate.

The investigation, dubbed Operation Car Wash, uncovered a huge web of corruption involving top-level politicians from a broad spectrum of parties taking kickbacks.

  • Adam Floyd