By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After a day of discussions, Supreme Court Justices in Brazil granted an injunction on Thursday to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva which prevents him from being arrested until the Upper Court can vote on whether to accept his habeas corpus request. The former president could have been arrested to serve his more than twelve-year conviction as early as next week.

Former President Lula was granted an injunction which prevents his arrest until April 4th, photo by Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

“If the delay in the judicial decision is exclusively the fault of the Court, then the party involved (Lula) should not have to bear the burden (of the delay),” said Justice Ricardo Lewandowski voting to grant the injunction.

With the decision of six to five in favor of the injunction, Lula now may not be arrested until at least April 4th, when the Justices are expected to return with a verdict on the habeas corpus. Lawyers for the ex-leader want the courts to allow the ex-president to remain free while he exhausts all his appeals.

“If the delay in the judicial decision is exclusively the fault of the Court, then the party involved (Lula) should not have to bear the burden (of the delay),” said Justice Ricardo Lewandowski voting to grant the injunction.

Lula’s defense argued that it would be difficult to justify to the population the possible imprisonment of a former leader if later on the Justices decided to grant the habeas corpus.

But according to one of the Justices who voted against the injunction, the fact that he is a former President should not have weighed into the Court’s decision. “I think he has to be treated like any Brazilian, there is a jurisprudence in place and I see no reason to grant (Lula) a preliminary injunction,” said Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso justifying his vote.

The former President was convicted to nine-and-a-half years in July of 2017 for corruption and money laundering. During his appeal hearing in January of this year, the court not only decided to uphold the conviction but increased his jail term to twelve years and a month.

On Monday, March 26tht Lula is scheduled to have another appeal hearing and there was the possibility that if the conviction is upheld the former president would be jailed immediately.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

twenty − eight =