Lula da Silva freed from detention center after 19 months in prison

Curitiba, November 8 (RHC)-- Former Brazilian President Lula Inacio Lula da Silva has been freed from detention after 580 days in prison.   The leader of the Brazilian Worker's Party walked out of prison in Curitiba Friday afternoon to a crowd of thousands of supporters who were awaiting his release.

Earlier in the day, Lula's attorney's met with the judge in charge of the Brazilian leader's case, Judge Danilo Pereira.   The lawyers argued the appeal that would release him while confirming or discarding his conviction for alleged corruption.  

The judicial action takes place after the Supreme Federal Court (STF) of Brazil revoked on Thursday the unconstitutional decision of prison after conviction in the second instance.  This restored previous legislation that those accused of a crime should be allowed to exhaust all their appeal options before being imprisoned.

Through its Twitter account, the highest judicial body announced that the decision was taken with six votes in favor and five against.  "The plenary of the Supreme Court considers that imprisonment based solely on a criminal conviction can only take place after all the possibilities of appeal (res judicata) have been finalized," the message said.

After hearing the news, Lula's defense team submitted the request for his immediate release.  His attorneys emphasized: "Lula has not committed any crime and is a victim of the law, which, in the case of the former president, is the strategic use of the law for the purpose of political persecution." 

Edited by Ed Newman


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