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By George Utley, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - José Dirceu, the former Chief of Staff to ex-President Lula da Silva's government imprisoned on corruption charges in the landmark "mensalão" case conviction, has been granted "work release" from the prison. As of last week, the former minister will work in a lawyer's office under a scheme designed to reintegrate convicted criminals into wider society.

Dirceu has been serving a seven year and eleven month sentence at the Papuda prison complex in Brasília since November 15th, for his leading involvement in the Subscribe to our Premium Membership Plan. Already Subscribed?