The fifth panel of the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice reduced the punishment of ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the Guarujá (SP) triplex case, opening up a way for him to be freed on house arrest this year.
The unanimous decision maintains the conviction, but lowers the penalty from 12 years and one month of prison to eight years, 10 months and 20 days.
The Criminal Execution Law allows for those who have completed one-sixth of their sentence to be transferred to house arrest. With this decision, Lula should be released by the end of September.
Lula was sentenced for corruption and money laundering and has been imprisoned since April of last year.
In 2017, the sentence imposed by ex-judge Sergio Moro, in the first instance, was nine years and 6 months. The TRF-4 increased the sentence to 12 years and one month—now reduced.
The possibility of Lula leaving prison may change depending on the appeal in his other lawsuits, such as the case of the Atibaia (SP) site. In that case, he was sentenced to another 12 years and 11 months in prison. The process, however, still needs to pass through the appeals court.
Assuming that the court maintains the sentence in the case of that site, it would have to be added to the new sentence of the triplex, totaling 21 years and nine months of joint penalty. Lula would reach one-sixth of this penalty in early 2022.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon