Reuters – Hundreds of supporters of Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took to the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on Sunday (July 08) to demand the release of the former president from prison, amidst rival judicial rulings over whether Lula should remain in prison.
Appeals court judge Rogerio Favreto, who served in the Justice Ministry under Lula and was appointed by his handpicked successor, ruled earlier on Sunday that the former president should have the same conditions to campaign as other candidates in elections later this year and should be released.
However, the chief justice of the TRF-4 appeals court, Carlos Eduardo Thompson Flores, granted a request from prosecutors to keep Lula in prison, blocking Favreto’s ruling.
Lula is one of Brazil’s most popular politicians and supporters had hoped he would contest October’s presidential election. The former president is serving time for reportedly taking bribes from an engineering firm in return for help landing contracts with a state firm. He faces another six trials for other corruption allegations. Lula has denied any wrongdoing.
In polling scenarios including Lula in the race, he wins more than twice the support of his nearest challenger. But Brazilian electoral law forbids politicians from running for office within eight years of being found guilty of a crime.