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Lula is not going to go into prison voluntarily, reports ' Folha '


06 de abril de 2018, 08:28Paris, Apr 6 (Prensa Latina) French leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon criticized the Brazilian justice " s decision to endorse the incarceration of former president and current candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a ruling that generates reactions of rejection in the world.

Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who has handled the bulk of cases in Brazil's biggest anti-corruption effort, ordered Lula to turn himself in by late Friday afternoon.

Lula says the corruption charges against him are politically motivated and created to stop him from running for president again in October's election.

Under Brazilian law, any politician with a prison sentence is barred from running for political office.

Moro's office said that in view of Lula's stature as a former president, he would have "the opportunity to present himself voluntarily" to police in the city of Curitiba, where the "Car Wash" probe is based, by 5:00 pm (2000 GMT) Friday.

Lula petitioned to the Supreme Court on Thursday to be allowed to remain free while pursuing appeals in higher courts against his conviction for receiving a seaside apartment as a bribe from a construction company. That conviction was upheld by an appeals court in January.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leaves the Lula Institute after a judge issues a warrant for his arrest.

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But the Supreme Court ruled in a tense, almost 11-hour session by 6-5 that because the 72-year-old has already lost a lower court appeal against his conviction, he must begin the sentence.

Earlier in the day, the Workers' Party (PT) said that Lula remained as its presidential candidate although Brazilian media reported Lula had told his close circle that he was essentially out of the presidential race.

The drama is of huge outcome to Brazil's presidential race, in which 72-year-old Lula, despite his legal problems, is the easy leader in polls. An appeals court in Porto Alegre raised the sentence to 12 years and one month in January. Rare exceptions have been made in the past, and the final decision would be made by the top electoral court if and when Lula officially files to be a candidate.

The case against Lula is part of the "Car Wash" corruption investigation, which has led to the jailing of dozens of top executives and politicians and exposed bitter divisions in the country.

Federal police in Sao Paulo declined to say if they would attempt to forcibly take the former president into custody, a move that could trigger intense clashes with his supporters.

However, Senator Lindbergh Farias, from Lula's Workers' Party, issued a defiant call for supporters to congregate in front of Lula's house in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a suburb of Sao Paulo, today. She was impeached and removed from office amid corruption scandals and economic crisis in mid-2016.

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