Brazilian ex-president released from prison

Brazilian ex-president released from prison

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has walked out of a Curitiba prison, less than a day after the Supreme Court ruled that a person can be imprisoned only after all the appeals have been exhausted.

Hundreds of supporters were gathered outside the federal police building in southern city of Curitiba, hoping to catch a glimpse of the popular 74-year-old politician who is appealing against his conviction of corruption and money laundering in connection with the purchase of a beachfront apartment in Sao Paulo state.

A stage was set up for him to address the crowd.

Supporters of Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Leo Correa/AP)
Supporters of Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Leo Correa/AP)

Mr da Silva, who is universally known as Lula, tweeted “Lula Free” with a video of himself working out and lifting weights in a gym inside the prison, where he has been detained since April 2018.

But he could find himself back in prison if his appeals do not go his way.

It is not yet clear what political role Mr Da Silva will seek to occupy now that he is free.

The former leader of the leftist Workers’ Party, better known in Brazil by its Portuguese acronym PT, remains a popular figure on the left, whose politicians and voters have ceaselessly called for his release.

Political analysts believe Mr da Silva could rally the opposition, which has been demoralised by the corruption scandals, impeachment of Mr da Silva’s hand-picked successor, Mr da Silva’s imprisonment and, more recently, a severe beating in the 2018 general elections.

Aside from his promise to root out corruption and curb violence, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro ran a strong campaign on anti-Workers Party sentiment.

He won the election with 55% of the vote and was sworn in on January 1.

Mr da Silva, who governed from 2003 to 2010, had been favoured to win the 2018 presidential election, but his conviction eventually prohibited him from running.

The former president has said that when free, he would travel around the country rallying opposition.

Political analysts say he might not immediately enter into frontal opposition with Mr Bolsonaro, seeking instead to influence the next presidential election in 2022.

More in this Section

NSPCC warns Facebook of becoming ‘one-stop grooming shop’ over encryption plansNSPCC warns Facebook of becoming ‘one-stop grooming shop’ over encryption plans

1970s convictions of three men in UK overturned due to evidence of corrupt detective1970s convictions of three men in UK overturned due to evidence of corrupt detective

Italian sports newspaper accused of fuelling racism with ‘Black Friday’ headlineItalian sports newspaper accused of fuelling racism with ‘Black Friday’ headline

British Labour party pledges free breakfast for primary pupils under  ‘poverty proof’ planBritish Labour party pledges free breakfast for primary pupils under ‘poverty proof’ plan


Lifestyle

The bug causes vomiting and diarrhoea and can leave people feeling weak.Tips to help stop the spread of the dreaded norovirus

Susan McGarvey, public health nurse, Arranmore, Co Donegal.Working Life: Public health nurse Susan McGarvey

I have a mild dose of laryngitis, brought on by a throat infection. I’ve tried gargling with salted water but it hasn’t helped much. What would you recommend?Natural Health: How to deal with incredibly frustrating laryngitis

Searching for the perfect perfume to gift this Christmas? Rachel Marie Walsh picks the best.Searching for the perfect perfume to gift this Christmas? We've got you covered

More From The Irish Examiner