Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 1-Top Brazil court ends early prison rule, decision could free Lula

Reuters | Brasilia | Updated: 08-11-2019 06:34 IST | Created: 08-11-2019 06:28 IST
UPDATE 1-Top Brazil court ends early prison rule, decision could free Lula
Image Credit: Flickr

Brazil's Supreme Court decided on Thursday to end the mandatory imprisonment of convicted criminals after they lose their first appeal, restoring the previous rule that they should be allowed to exhaust all their appeal options before being locked up.

The politically charged re-interpretation of Brazil's penal code could lead to the release of dozens of high-profile convicts, including former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, jailed last year for taking bribes. By a 6-5 vote, the court overturned a three-year-old rule that contributed to the success of Brazil's biggest corruption investigation, the so-called Car Wash operation that put dozens of company executives and politicians in jail for bribes and kickbacks.

The prospect of serving immediate prison time after losing a first appeal encouraged suspects to negotiate plea deals with prosecutors, providing them with information that helped unravel the biggest graft scheme in Brazil's history. Lula was jailed in July 2018 for eight years and 10 months after he was found guilty of taking bribes from engineering firms in return for government contracts. His lawyers are expected to swiftly file for his release at the lower court that convicted him.

Lula governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010, its first working class president. He left office with sky-high popularity ratings thanks to social policies that raised millions from poverty, but his critics say he ruined the country by allowing corruption to flourish. Lula's release would heighten tensions in a polarized nation that elected far-right President Jair Bolsonaro last year. Lula had been favorite to win the 2018 election but his imprisonment barred him from running.

Sergio Moro, the judge who handled most of the Car Wash trials who is now justice minister in Bolsonaro's government, warned before the court's decision that overturning the rule would be a big setback for the fight against corruption. According to the National Council of Justice, some 4,895 convicts could potentially benefit from the rule change.

The Brazilian Bar Association argued that the mandatory prison rule violated the constitution by not respecting the presumption of innocence of defendants throughout the appeals process. Anti-corruption movement Vem Pra Rua, or 'Take to the Streets,' had published full-page ads in newspapers saying the expected court ruling would be a terrible setback.

"We fear Brazil will become known as the country of impunity," the group said. It announced protests in Brazilian cities on Saturday.



South Africa's COVID-19 response: Surprising outcomes or just poor data management?

South Africa has been committed to improving its health information system and shows that a robust digital has considerable scope to improve healthcare for the entire population. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that significant ga...

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...


Latest News

Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary to reopen from Oct 2

Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha, which was closed since March 27 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, will reopen its gates for the public from October 2, HS Mohanty, Assistant Conservator of Forest said. While speaking to ANI Mo...

SKINN by Titan launches "Escapade"

New Delhi India, September 29 ANINewsVoir SKINN, a range of fine fragrances from the house of Titan presents Escapade a refreshing new range of perfumes for men. The collection is crafted by the finest master perfumers from France and bring...

Helen Reddy, singer of feminist anthem 'I Am Woman', dies at 78

Singer Helen Reddy, whose 1972 song I Am Woman became a global feminist anthem, died in Los Angeles aged 78 on Tuesday, her family said. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever, the fa...

SKINN by Titan Launches "Escapade"

A Fragrance Collection for those who believe adventure is a state of mind Bangalore, Karnataka, India NewsVoir SKINN, a range of fine fragrances from the house of Titan presents Escapade a refreshing new range of perfumes for men. The colle...

Give Feedback