Brazil Judge Blocks Order for Release of Ex-President Lula da Silva

Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva will remain in jail after the chief justice of an appeals court blocked another judge’s ruling to release him from prison on Sunday.

Chief Justice of the TRF-4 appeals court Carlos Eduardo Thompson Flores granted the request from prosecutors to keep Lula in prison, blocking an earlier Sunday ruling from Appeals Judge Rogerio Favreto.

Judge Favreto of the Fourth Regional Federal Court in the city of Porto Alegre had granted a habeas corpus decision for Lula, citing a lack of legal grounds to keep the ex-president in prison.

The legal tussle comes just three months after Lula commenced a 12-year sentence for his alleged involvement in a major corruption case.

Favreto’s ruling would have been a major victory for the former president, who has maintained his innocence and is hoping to run in the October presidential elections where he’s leading the race by as much as 13 percent over conservative candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

The former president’s legal team had argued that he should be allowed to remain free until all legal appeals in the case had been exhausted.

But as things stand, the fate of his candidacy in the October elections remains in the hands of an electoral court.

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