The Supreme Federal Court on Thursday decided that the imprisonment of a person in second instance is unconstitutional, which can free the former president and thousands of other inmates.
Judge Carolina Lebbos ordered the imprisonment of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, after his lawyers formally requested his freedom on Friday after a ruling adopted by the Supreme Court.
"The decision of the STF has given [a Lula] a light of hope that there may be justice. Our legal battle continues and our focus is the annulment of the entire process that led to his conviction," said the lawyer of the petista Cristiano Zanin.
Lula is expected to deliver a speech before his supporters, who are in front of the Superintendence of the Federal Police of Curitiba, in the state of Paraná, in southern Brazil, where he has been imprisoned since April 2018.
Then he is scheduled to travel to his residence in Sao Bernardo do Campo, in Sao Paulo, on a plane chartered by the Workers Party (PT). According to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo the idea is to rest until Sunday, when he will perform an act at the Metallurgist Trade Union of ABC, where he spoke for the last time before entering prison.
The former president (2003-2010), 74 years old, served since April 2018 a sentence of 8 years and 10 months in prison for money laundering and passive corruption in the case of a department triplex, within the framework of the 'Lava Jato'.
On Thursday by six votes to five, in a change of the jurisprudence of 2016, the STF judges decided that a person cannot be considered guilty until a final judgment has been issued, that is, when there are no more judicial remedies in process. The former union leader still has pending resources, so he has been released.
"I think there will be justice in this country as long as people realize that lies cannot prevail," Lula said in a recent interview exclusively with RT. "And that the Supreme Court of Brazil, as the guarantor institution of our Constitution, allows things to function normally again and will not let the lie prevail over the truth," he predicted.
The STF decision has meant a a blow to the Minister of Justice, Sergio Moro who led the way as a judge in most of the trials of the Lava Jato anti-corruption operation, including that of Lula.
On Friday, in a note sent to the press, the minister defended the sentences in second instance . "I will continue to defend it. The decision of the majority of the STF must be respected. Congress can, in any case, alter the Constitution or the law to allow the execution again in second instance," he said.
He claims to be a victim of a conspiracy
Lula was also sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in jail for corruption and money laundering in the reform of a house in Atibaia, Sao Paulo, but the conviction is not confirmed in second instance. In addition, he has at least six other proceedings before the Justice.
The leader of the PT has always denied the accusations and alleges that he has been victim of a conspiracy to prevent him from running for presidential elections October 2018.
This thesis gained strength when last summer, the portal The Intercept Brasil leaked some conversations between Moro and the prosecutors of the Lava Jato case who question their impartiality.
The measure also affects some 4,900 prisoners, including dozens of those convicted in the Lava Jato anti-corruption operation, according to the National Justice Council ( CNJ ). Those considered dangerous or who were prisoners on a preventive basis will not be released. The Justice will analyze case by case after the lawyers of each prisoner ask for the corresponding review.
According to data from the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), collected by the local press, there are 74 prisoners of the Lava Jato in Paraná with convictions in second instance and 38 of them could have some benefit by the decision of the STF.
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