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Brazil's Lula faces imminent prison after Supreme Court ruling

Brazil's Lula faces imminent prison after Supreme Court ruling”

The court battle mirrored the increasingly polarized election campaign in which a hard-right former army officer, Jair Bolsonaro, is now second in the polls behind Lula, with centrists struggling to make ground. In a note, Moro said he was giving da Silva the opportunity to come in on his own accord because he had been a president of the nation.

The ruling likely ends his political career and any chances he has of running for president, despite opinion polls showing he would easily win a first-round vote in an election scheduled for October.

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

A three-judge appeals panel then upheld that conviction in January - and increased Lula's sentence to 12 years.

"Brazil scored a goal against impunity and corruption", said Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, a right-leaning former army captain who is second in the polls after da Silva.

Mr. Henrique Meirelles, the Finance Minister of Brazil, recently made public his plans to get on board with the Brazilian Democratic Movement political party - its name is often shortened to MDB - and is expected to run for president of Brazil just four months from now. "I can't accept an innocent man being in prison", she said. However, Lula applied to the Supreme Court for habeas corpus, allowing him to remain free during the appeals, potentially keeping him out of jail for a long period.

Da Silva, president between 2003 and 2010, is the latest of many high-profile people to be ensnared in possibly the largest corruption scandal in Latin American history.

Last year, Temer was twice charged with corruption but remained in office because in both cases Congress, which must vote on criminal cases involving a sitting president, chose to spare him prosecution. Last year, he was convicted of trading favors with a construction company to later receive a beachfront apartment.

The pivotal vote was cast by Justice Rosa Weber against Lula's request to avoid jail and begin serving his 12-year sentence for accepting bribes. The conviction was handed down by Judge Sergio Moro, who is presiding over cases involving the so-called "Car Wash" investigation.

The leader is yet to be tried for several other corruption charges against him. In August, the country's top electoral court makes final decisions about candidacies.

"In Brazil's current situation, it's worth asking our institutions and the people who is really thinking about what is best for the country and future generations, and who is only anxious about their personal interests?" he wrote in one tweet.



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