Former Brazil president Lula da Silva loses appeal against 12yr corruption sentence
Former Brazil president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has had his latest appeal against his conviction for corruption and money laundering rejected by a federal court.
Lula, who this month began a 12-year jail term, was convicted on serious fraud charges in January. His attempt to appeal the sentence was thrown out by a Federal Regional Court Wednesday. He is now free to make further appeals to the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) and the Federal Supreme Court (STF).
"After analyzing all the weights of the defense, the appeal is inadmissible," said Judge Nivaldo Brunoni, Globo reports. Lula’s lawyers indicated that they intend to take their appeals to the higher courts.
Lula has been in custody since April 7. The former head of state turned himself into police one day after the deadline of April 6. The hugely popular former president had insisted on attending an anniversary mass ahead of his incarceration.
Lula was convicted after prosecutors found he’d been given a seaside property in Sao Paulo by the construction company OAS. In return, he was said to have favored the company in bids for contracts from the semi-state Brazilian multinational energy company Petrobras.
Earlier this week, housing activists occupied the beachfront apartment complex at the centre of the scandal. The homeless workers movement (MTST) hung flags from the balcony and roof of the building as they chanted slogans in support of the former president. The group claimed that Lula has been imprisoned as part of a plot to prevent him winning the upcoming presidential election in October.
A founding member of the Workers’ Party, Lula held the presidency from 2003 until 2011. He also acted as chief of staff to his successor, Dilma Rousseff, in 2016.
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