Lula’s Freedom: “A Question of Honor”

November 29, 2019

On Wednesday, the Federal Regional Court of the Fourth Region (TRF4) of Porto Alegre voted to extend the sentence against former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the Atibaia case, from 12 years and 11 months in prison to 17 years, one month and ten days.

After the announcement was made, the Prerogatives Group, which brings together the country’s best lawyers, issued a harsh note against the TRF4 ruling. “Justice is dead. It is an attempt to condemn former president Lula at all costs, even the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court has been contaminated,” the text says.

With this TRF4 decision, Lula would not return to prison immediately, as the leader’s defense resources would have to be exhausted. However, this is one more step towards a possible sentence that could lead him back to prison.

Because of the new ruling, the leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) accumulates two sentences in the second instance, after the case of the Triplex apartment, for which he was imprisoned for one year and seven months. Lula da Silva still has six more cases pending before the Brazilian courts.

For his part, Lula stated that his strategy is to continue the legal and political battle to prove his innocence. “I have to prove that all the trials against me are fallacies, lies, inventions, both from the media and from the Public Ministry and Judge Sergio Moro,” he told El País-Brazil.

“For me it is a matter of honor to show 210 million Brazilians that my accusers are liars,” he added. He also said that he wants to help rebuild the PT and help to prepare to compete in the 2020 municipal elections and the 2022 presidential elections.

Lula was deprived of freedom for 580 days, accused of crimes of alleged corruption. On November 8 of this year, Lula da Silva was released from the facilities of the Federal Penitentiary of Curitiba, located in the state of Paraná, after a judge ordered the release of those convicted in second instance.

The defense of the PT leader has stated on multiple occasions that there is no evidence to accuse him.

Source: Granma, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau