Brazil: Lula Appeal Rejected, Prison Imminent
A Brazilian appeals court on Monday rejected the objections of lawyers for former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his corruption conviction, increasing his chances of going to prison, Reuters reports.
In January, Lula was convicted of corruption for receiving a seaside property from a developer who was later awarded government contracts.
A court upheld the conviction and raised Lula’s prison sentence to 12 years. The Supreme Court is to decide on his final appeal on April 4, after which the former president will likely begin serving his prison term.
Despite the conviction, several other pending corruption charges, and the Workers’ Party (PT) involvement in the Petrobras and Odebrecht corruption scandals, Lula maintains widespread popularity across the country. Although he cannot officially participate in the presidential election due to his conviction, Lula continues to tour the country on campaign stops. Last week in the state of Santa Catarina, his tour bus was pelted with eggs and rocks.
Ousted president Dilma Rousseff has denounced Lula’s conviction, accusing the opposition--the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party-- of attempting to discredit the left-leaning Workers’ Party, and push a neo-liberal agenda.