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'There Is an Attempt to Take Me Out of the Political Game,' Says Ex-President Lula After Conviction
07/14/2017 - 10h54
GABRIELA SÁ PESSOA
FROM SÃO PAULO
In his first statement after he was convicted in the Lava Jato operation, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 71, said on Thursday, July 13, that the court decision awoke his desire to run for president in the next election to be held in 2018.
"If anyone thinks that with this sentence they will pull me out of the game, they should know that I am in the game," said Lula.
"And I want to ask my party [the Workers' Party] for the right to be a candidate for president in 2018".
Outside the headquarters of the Workers' Party (PT), in the city center of São Paulo, Lula's statement was received with applause by some 300 militants and supporters of the ex-president, who gave Lula a "symbolic hug" in the streets.
On Wednesday (12th), Judge Sergio Moro, responsible for the proceedings in the first instance, sentenced Lula for corruption and money laundering, in the case of a three-floor penthouse in the city of Guarujá (SP).
Lula criticized Moro's decision and said that he will appeal "in all instances."
The former president also said that there was not enough evidence to support Moro's decision and that it was in fact an attempt to remove him from the political game.
"I would be happier if I had been sentenced based on evidence. What makes me outraged, but without ever losing tenderness, is to realize that I was the victim of a group of people who told a first lie and are spending the rest of their lives trying to justify that lie," said Lula.
Translated by THOMAS MUELLO
|Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva speaks during a press conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil|