A judge has ordered the release from jail of former President of Brazil Lula da Silva until his appeal process ends. Da Silva stands accused of corruption, though he and his supporters call the charges politically motivated.
On Friday, the judge accepted the request filed by the ex-president’s defense team, authorizing him to leave jail. Da Silva will now be able to stay out of prison until his appeal process continues.
Within two hours after the release request was accepted, former Brazilian President walked out of jail, meeting a large crowd of his supporters who gathered outside to celebrate the occasion.
Shortly after the ruling, Lula’s official Twitter account released a video of of the 74-year-old working out. The post was accompanied by two words only: “Lula free”.
Brazil has a four-level appeal system, while the former president has only gone through two of them. In both instances he was found guilty of corruption and money laundering.
The move follows the Thursday ruling by the country’s Supreme Court, which overturned, in a 6-5 vote, its own 2016 decision, which had obliged convicted criminals to go to jail after they lose their first appeal. Now, the court decided such a provision to be non-constitutional, since the country’s basic law says no one can be considered guilty until due process is over.
Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva, who was Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010, was slapped with a 12-year jail term as a result of a probe into an alleged massive corruption scheme, commonly known as the ‘Car Wash.’ The socialist icon has always maintained his innocence, vehemently rejecting all the accusations as politically-motivated.
In April this year, Lula’s term was reduced to eight years and 10 months.