By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The beginning of 2018 will be busy for Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. On January 24th the court is expected to decide on the appeal against a corruption conviction issued in July.

Brazil, Brazil News, Former President, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to have a busy beginning of 2018
Former President, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to have a busy beginning of 2018, photo by Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil.

Less than a month later, February 20th, a federal court has scheduled the hearing of the former leader and his son in regards to Operação Zalotes (Operation Zelotes).

In July Lula was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison for passive corruption and money laundering. The former leader was charged with accepting million-dollar renovations on a beachfront apartment in exchange for ‘advantages’ in public contracts.

Lula appealed the decision and now the courts have scheduled for January the decision. If the appeal is denied the former president, who is currently leading polls for the 2018 Presidential election will be ineligible to run.

Allies, however, are questioning what they considered a ‘record’ time to process the PT’s appeal in court. “Only the use of the process as a tool of political persecution can explain the rapporteur’s decision to carry out this agenda. The court takes, on average, ten months to set schedules,” said Chamber of Deputies representative Wadih Damous in the PT (Workers Party) website.

Ex-president Lula says however he is serene with the moving up of the process in which he says he was unjustly convicted. “I am calm even with the moving up of the process, because I have spent my whole life saying that justice is slow,” Lula said during a recent rally in Brasilia.

“I only hope that the judges who will judge me study the case, read my defense and that of the prosecution. If there is one person in this country who did not even need a defense lawyer, it’s me,” argued Lula.

In the regarding regarding Operação Zalotes, Lula and his son are accused of crimes of influence peddling, money laundering and criminal organization.

The two are suspected of receiving more than R$2.5 million to influence the negotiations between the federal government and Swedish company Gripen in the purchase of fighter jets for the Brazilian Air Force.

1 COMMENT

  1. It is quite baffling that probably one of the world’s most corrupt individuals, let alone one time head of
    a civilized country is not already in jail for the rest of his miserable life, but that he is allowed to run again
    for the highest office in the land, is an insult to any person with an IQ over 2.

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