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Lula Withdraws Jail Release Request to Avoid Debate about his Eligibility

08/07/2018 - 06h19

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ANA LUIZA ALBUQUERQUE
REYNALDO TUROLLO JR.
CURITIBA
BRASÍLIA

Former president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, nominated as the Worker's Party (PT) presidential candidate, decided on Monday to withdraw his request for jail release to the Brazilian Supreme Court, because his legal team reluctantly acknowledges that the request would bring about questions about his eligibility.

This is what his VP candidate, Fernando Haddad, and PT's president Gleisi Hoffmann (PR), who visited him in the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, where Lula is serving his sentence, informed the press yesterday.

REUTERS/Rodolfo Buhrer
Former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad leaves the Federal Police headquarters, where Brazilian former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is imprisoned, after visiting him, in Curitiba
Former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad leaves the Federal Police headquarters, where Brazilian former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is imprisoned, after visiting him, in Curitiba

According to Hoffmann, Lula made this decision wholeheartedly, giving up on his freedom to keep his commitment to his country and his dignity.

She said Silva wouldn't accept bringing forward the debate over the legitimacy of his candidacy for the forthcoming presidential election, debate which he called a "chicanery".

"Our impression is that the release request would be used to discuss his elegibilty, which is not in the original petition," said Haddad.

Initially, the petition filed in June requested that justices to grant Lula an extraordinary appeal (a procedure to challenge a conviction in the Supreme Court), to lift the decision to convict him made by federal court TRF-4.

The defense explicitly requested to lift the sentence's execution and mentioned several times in the petition, the matter of the ineligibility caused by the conviction.

Some justices told Folha that, in their opinion, for the defense to withdraw the electoral issue from the Court, the team would have to give up on the whole petition, including the jail release request.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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