Brazil’s court approves jail for ex-president

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The Brazilian Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) has rejected a motion by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s defence team to avoid his arrest for a graft conviction.

Justice Humberto Martins who denied the request said in a statement that such petitions are only applicable when there is a “concrete threat of imminent imprisonment”.

Humberto maintained the former president should be arrested as soon as the court explains details of the ruling to the defence, a process that usually takes a month.

However, Lula’s defence team noted that imprisoning the former president before the final judgement is a violation to the presumption of innocence, they claimed Lula is the front-runner for this year’s October presidential election and that early imprisonment would damage the democratic process in the country.

Meanwhile, a federal judge had ordered the public auction of a beachfront apartment allegedly used to bribe the former president in exchange for his help with engineering company OAS to get contracts from state oil company Petrobras.

Lula’s team also claimed there was no evidence that links him to the promise of receiving the apartment where he never lived and visited only once.

Inacio Lula, then president of Brazil from Jan. 1, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2011, was found guilty of corruption and money laundering in 2017.

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