Brazil’s Supreme Court postponed a decision on whether to release former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from jail while rejecting other requests that could have freed him temporarily.
Five justices from the second chamber of the nation’s Supreme Court initially ruled against a habeas corpus for the former president, who has been imprisoned since April last year. A second request to annul Lula’s sentence on the basis that Sergio Moro, the judge who convicted him, was biased, was delayed until the court resumes work after mid-year recess. Moro is now Brazil’s justice minister.
During the discussion, Justice Gilmar Mendes suggested that the former president should be provisionally set free until the court rules on whether Moro acted impartially, but he had his idea rejected by the other judges.
Lula’s imprisonment in April 2018 represented a huge blow to the leftist Workers’ Party, which ruled the country from 2003 to 2016. Polls showed the former president leading last years’ race for the presidency, but his conviction prevented him from running for office.
In the wake of widespread public anger over years of graft revelations involving much of the country’s political elite, including Lula, Brazilians elected Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right congressman who vowed to do away with the country’s traditional pork-barrel politics.