The Latest: Brazil court rejects Lula petition to avoid jail - InfoNews

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The Latest: Brazil court rejects Lula petition to avoid jail

Supporters of Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gather outside his residence in Sao Bernardo do Campo, in the greater Sao Paulo area, Brazil, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Brazil's top court is voting on whether da Silva can stay out of prison while appealing a corruption conviction, a decision that could radically alter October's presidential election in Latin America's largest nation. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
April 04, 2018 - 8:39 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO - The latest on former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's effort to block his arrest (all times local):

12:35 a.m.

Justices on Brazil's top court have delivered a major blow to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

They voted 6-5 early Thursday to reject his petition to stay out of prison while appealing a corruption conviction.

The decision by the Supreme Federal Tribunal means that da Silva will likely soon be forced to begin serving his 12-year sentence.

It also means that his push to run for re-election later this year is all but doomed. The decision came after more than 10 hours of debate in an often heated session.

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12:15 a.m.

Justices on Brazil's top court are so far split on whether to grant a petition from former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to stay out of prison while he appeals a 12-year sentence for corruption. The ruling could affect the country's stability ahead of October elections.

Da Silva leads presidential polls despite his conviction and several other corruption charges that have yet to be tried. A Supreme Federal Tribunal decision to allow a lower court to force the ex-leader to begin serving his sentence could all but doom his candidacy and generate protests at a time of high tension in Latin America's largest nation.

Ten hours into the session, five justices have voted against da Silva and five in his favour. The matter will be decided once six of the 11 members vote a particular way.

Chief Justice Carmen Lucia will be the last court member to vote.

Da Silva strenuously denies any wrongdoing. In recent months, he has continued to campaign despite the conviction.

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8:15 p.m.

Justices on Brazil's highest court appear to be moving toward denying a petition from former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to stay out of prison while he appeals a 12-year sentence for corruption. The ruling could affect the country's stability ahead of October elections.

Da Silva leads presidential polls despite his conviction and several other corruption charges that have yet to be tried. A Supreme Federal Tribunal decision to allow a lower court to force the ex-leader to begin serving his sentence could all but doom his candidacy and generate protests at a time of high tension in Latin America's largest nation.

Six hours into the session, four justices have voted against da Silva and one in his favour. The matter will be decided once six of the 11 members vote a particular way.

The session is expected to run late into the night.

Da Silva strenuously denies any wrongdoing.

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2:55 p.m.

Justices on Brazil's top court have begun reviewing a request from former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to stay out of jail while he appeals a corruption conviction.

Wednesday's nationally televised session at the Supreme Federal Tribunal comes a time of high tension in Latin America's largest nation.

Da Silva was president between 2003 and 2010. Last year, he was convicted of trading favours with a construction company to later receive a beachfront apartment. The conviction was upheld by an appeals court in January.

The former leader can continue to appeal. However, under Brazilian law he can also be forced to begin serving his sentence while he appeals.

Da Silva wants the court to spare him prison while he appeals. He leads preference polls for October's presidential election.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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