On November 8, the Brazilian judiciary released former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), who had been in prison since April 2018, after being sentenced in second instance for alleged acts of corruption under the Operation Lava Jato. The decision to release him came one day after the Federal Supreme Court (STF, for its acronym in Portuguese) ruled that no one may be incarcerated while other legal instances are still available, which eliminates the possibility of the premature execution of the sentence.
In the afternoon of November 8, Judge Danilo Pereira accepted the request of the former president’s lawyers to allow him to leave Curitiba prison, after the STF had ruled to change the jurisprudence obliging those convicted in the second instance to serve their prison sentences. This established that “there are no longer grounds for the execution of the sentence,” opening the door to an examination of the situation of some 5,000 people imprisoned after receiving a sentence by a court of second instance.
Lula has been in prison since April 2018, serving a sentence of 8 years and 10 months in prison, after being convicted in second instance for alleged corruption and money laundering. It is expected that Lula’s defense attorneys will file an appeal with the STF, based on the doubtful nature of the impartiality of Sergio Moro (a former judge and current Minister of Justice of Bolsonaro) who ruled to have the former president jailed.