Brazilian judge issues arrest warrant against ex-president 'Lula'
- Author: Ryan Wade Apr 07, 2018,
Apr 07, 2018, 0:37
The director of Fitch Ratings in Brazil said in a Thursday note that a federal judge's order that former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva be jailed within 24 hours added more chaos to an already hectic political scenario.
However, there were celebrations on the right and among prosecutors supporting the epic "Car Wash" probe, which has revealed high-level corruption throughout Brazilian business and politics over the last four years.
Lula petitioned to the Supreme Court on Thursday to be allowed to remain free while pursuing appeals in higher courts against his conviction for receiving a seaside apartment as a bribe from a construction company.
The court also stiffened his initial sentence, increasing it to more than 12 years.
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' The day before, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court rejected six votes against five to grant the habeas corpus presented by the ex-claimant's defense, a ruling that has been widely criticized at an global level.
Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who has handled the bulk of cases in Brazil's biggest anti-corruption effort, ordered Lula to turn himself in by late Friday afternoon. The Lula case has provoked extreme reactions in Brazil.
He has a lead in opinion polls.
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Earlier on Thursday, the head of the Workers' Party insisted that Da Silva, 72, would be the party's candidate in October.
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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.
Lula has until mid-August to register his candidacy and only after that will the Superior Electoral Tribunal rule on whether his candidacy is valid.
A candidate is forbidden by law from running for elected office for eight years if convicted of a crime. However, da Silva could appeal such a decision, though doing so from jail would be more complicated. A union spokesman said Lula was mulling his options with lawyers.
And Workers' Party Senator Lindbergh Farias called for activists to stand by the embattled leader on Friday. Whether the party, weakened after the impeachment and scandals, can mobilise major demonstrations remains to be seen.
Da Silva's protégé, former President Rousseff, was herself ousted in 2016 for manipulating the federal budget to hide the nation's growing economic crisis.
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