Brazil judge orders former president 'Lula' freed

Brazil's former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is set to walk out of prison after a judge ordered his release.

Federal police have to comply with Friday's order "with urgency," the decision said.

Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba where Lula has been held since April 2018 cheered after the order was issued.

It came hours after Lula's lawyers requested the immediate release of the 74-year-old leftist icon, who has been serving a nearly nine-year sentence for corruption and money laundering.

The move follows a Supreme Court decision Thursday that a person can be imprisoned only after all appeals to higher courts have been exhausted.

Da Silva is still appealing the case that put him behind bars, related to the alleged purchase of a beachfront apartment in Sao Paulo state.

The former leader, who governed from 2003 to 2010, had been favored to win the 2018 presidential election, but his conviction prohibited him from running.

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Thousands of Cubans express their support to Lula da Silva

Havana, October 29 (RHC)-- More than one and a half million Cubans from all sectors of society put their names on signature books to demand the release of former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Consuelo Baeza, a member of the leadership of the Cuban Trade Union Federation, said that the signature drive result shows resounding support for the Brazilian leader on the occasion of his 74th birthday.
Baeza added that mass organizations like the Cuban Women Federation, the Young Communist League, the Committees for the defense of the Revolution, and the National Association of Small Farmers, and other institutions convened some  33,800 meetings island-wide for the purpose.
The former president and leader of the Workers' Party (PT) of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, turned 74 on Sunday, as he serves multiple prison sentences over corruption charges that were based on shaky evidence in an unfair trial.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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Brazilian social movements plan march on Sao Paulo for Lula

Brasilia, October 9 (RHC)-- Social movements in Brazil are planning a march to Sao Paulo for October 13th, to demand that former leftist President Lula Da Silva be freed from jail, where he has been detained since April 2018 on trumped-up charges.

The organizers of the "Justice for Lula" event, together with the Lula Libre Committee, reported that the demonstration aims to denounce the crimes and legal war that have made it impossible for the ex-president to appear in the 2018 general elections, making him a political prisoner.

There is increasing anger at Lula’s imprisonment following the notorious Telegram leaks involving Judge Sergio Moro, in which it revealed the extent to which the investigation into Lula was politically motivated.

Lula’s supporters were galvanized recently after the ex-president wrote a defiant ‘letter to the Brazilian people”, in which he railed against his jailers saying, ''Every single Lava Jato prosecutor should really apologize to the Brazilian people, to the millions of unemployed people, and my family, for the harm they have done to democracy, to justice, and the country,"

It is expected that in the coming weeks the Federal Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the country, decides on the appeal of Lula's defense that asks for the entire process to be annulled.

Edited by Ed Newman
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Lula's defense denied request to include Intercept messages

Brasilia, September 27 (RHC)-- A Brazilian court has denied a new request by the defense of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to include the messages published by the Intercept news site, in the case of the Atibaia site in Sao Paulo.

In the decision, the eighth chamber of the Federal Regional Court of the Fourth Region, based in the southern city of Porto Alegre, followed a vote by Judge João Pedro Gebran Neto.  For the magistrate, the conversations leaked by The Intercept were obtained illegally, in private environments of the authorities, without judicial authorization and cannot be used as evidence.

On September 3, the same request was denied by Gebran's individual decision, but the lawyers of the former labor leader appealed.  Lula's defense demanded that messages confiscated in the so-called Federal Police Spoofing operation, completed in July, be attached to the case.

In the investigation, the FP arrested suspects who hacked cell phones from the authorities.

The dialogues, exchanged through the Telegram application, suggest an intimacy between the then judge Sérgio Moro and the accusation, commanded by prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol, coordinator of Lava Jato, which compromises the impartiality of the decisions against the former unionist.

In February, the founder of the Workers' Party was sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison in criminal proceedings for the reforms carried out at the Santa Bárbara estate in Atibaia, which was allegedly handed over as a bribe.

Lula has always declared his innocence and that he is the victim of judicial and political persecution that seeks to avoid his return to the presidency.

Edited by Ed Newman
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Lula's defense to denounce Bolsonaro to the UN for violating rights

Brasilia, Sep 25 (Prensa Latina) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's defense team will denounce President Jair Bolsonaro to the United Nations Human Rights Committee for violating the rights of the former president during his speech at the General Assembly of the international organization.

'There is no final conviction against Lula that allows ruling out the constitutional guarantee of the presumption of innocence,' indicated lawyers Cristiano Zanin Martins and Valeska Martins in a press release.

Among other offensive statements, the speech delivered yesterday by Bolsonaro at the opening of the 74th session of the forum in New York included a series of attacks against the administrations of Lula and Dilma Rousseff, as well as criticism of the media and praise of the military dictatorship of 1964.

According to the former labor leader's defense attorneys, the speech by the far-right politician violated 'laws and UN decisions' and was incompatible with the Constitution of the Republic, especially with the provision that ensures that the presumption of innocence can only be rejected by a final judgment, following reference made yesterday by Bolsonaro to Lula during the opening of the global forum.

One of the serious violations that the United Nations Committee must judge, jurists point out, 'refers precisely to the fact that Brazil has not assured Lula the right to a fair, impartial and independent trial (Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), with no body of the Republic being able to undertake acts that jeopardize the effectiveness of the future trial of that international entity to which the country voluntarily linked and was forced to follow its determinations.'

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Social Movements in Brazil demand Lula's release

Brasilia, July 18 (RHC)-- Representatives of social movements took to the streets in several cities of Brazil Wednesday to demand the immediate release of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has been imprisoned at the Federal Police Headquarters in Curitiba since April 2018.

In Brasilia, the member of the agrarian sector of the Workers' Party (PT), Samuel Carvalho, indicated that "Lula Libre" committees were created to protest in front of the headquarters of the Public Ministry in rejection of the irregularities in the investigation of the Lava Jato case.

"In addition to Brasilia there are nine other cities that confirmed the celebration of rallies to demand the annulment of Lula's conviction, based on the report byThe Intercept, which shows the political persecution against the former president, he said.

Carvalho considers that one of the challenges is to transmit to the people the reality of the persecution that occurs in the country, as well as the consequences of the neoliberal policies implemented by the Government of Jair Bolsonaro.

"Our challenge is to talk to people so that they understand that Lula was persecuted to end the policies of social inclusion and justice for the people," implemented during the administrations of Lula and Dilma Rousseff.

Meanwhile, the  Brazilian Attorney General´s office estimated that the performance of Sérgio Moro as judge did not hurt Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the case of the triplex apartment in Guarujá.

In an opinion delivered to the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), Deputy Attorney Nívio de Freitas refuted Lula's defense request that the conviction for the triplex case be annulled, Prensa Latina reports.

The lawyers of the PT former leader quoted  the messages and conversations published by The Intercept website in which it is demonstrated the partiality and lack of ethics of Moro to incriminate and condemn Lula.

However, the Federal Public Ministry affirms that such dialogues are illegal and would not demonstrate an irregular performance of the former magistrate, and current Minister of Justice and Security.

For De Freitas, you can not support a request for annulment 'just based on newspaper articles'.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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Argentinean Presidential Candidate Visits Lula in Prison

Buenos Aires, Jul 5 (Prensa Latina) ''Lula's detention is a blemish on democracy,'' said Argentinean Presidential Candidate Alberto Fernandez, who visited the former Brazilian head of State in prison, where he has been held for more than 450 days.

According to local media, the candidate from 'Frente de Todos' arrived at the prison in Curitiba accompanied by former Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim to express his solidarity to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been in prison for alleged corruption and with whom he spoke about several issues that affect the region.

Lula is a victim of arbitrary imprisonment. I come to visit a man who is wrongfully in prison, Fernandez said minutes before entering the Superintendence of the Federal Police in Curitiba.

The Brazilian State does not realize that it is generating a blemish on the country by keeping Lula in prison, said Fernandez, who is running for the presidency of Argentina along with former President Cristina Fernandez.

After the meeting, the presidential candidate pointed out that Lula is very important for all of us. We Argentineans are very grateful to him and have great affection for him.

He added that Lula is a man about whose innocence he does not doubt and has the right to be free.

Brazil does not deserve a blemish like Lula's imprisonment. The Brazilian people do not deserve it,' he stressed.

Fernandez pointed out that he will always be on the side of the former Brazilian president and will do everything possible until the judicial system understands that citizens' rights and guarantees have to be respected. I demand that detention to end as soon as possible, he noted.

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Brazil's Lula convicted to keep him from 2018 election: Report

Brazil's justice minister and prosecutors collaborated to convict left-wing icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on corruption charges to prevent him from contesting the 2018 election, an investigative news outlet has reported.

The Intercept said on Sunday an anonymous source provided material, including private chats, audio recordings, videos and photos, that show "serious wrongdoing, unethical behaviour, and systematic deceit".

"Secret documents reveal that Brazil's most powerful prosecutors ... plotted to prevent the Workers' Party [PT] from winning the 2018 presidential election by blocking or weakening a pre-election interview with former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva," said the news report. 

Among the explosive claims, The Intercept said prosecutors in a massive, years-long anti-corruption probe known as "Car Wash" had expressed "serious doubts whether there was sufficient evidence to establish Lula's guilt".

Justice Minister Sergio Moro was the anti-corruption judge who handed Lula his first conviction in 2017, which prevented him from running in a presidential election he was widely expected to win.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who said during his campaign that he hoped Lula would "rot in prison", later made Moro part of his cabinet.

Glenn Greenwald, a cofounder of The Intercept and member of the team that first interviewed Edward Snowden in 2013, said on Twitter the leak was "one of the largest & most important in years".

This is "just the very beginning of what we intend to reveal from this massive archive about him [Moro] & the prosecutors with whom he unethically worked", said Greenwald.

The claims come at a bad time for Bolsonaro, who is already facing mounting opposition less than six months into his term, as Latin America's biggest economy teeters on the edge of recession and his signature pension reform remains stuck in a hostile Congress.

'Out of context'

In response to The Intercept's stories, Moro defended his actions as a judge in the ongoing Car Wash probe, and said the material obtained through the "criminal invasion of prosecutors' cell phones" had been "taken out of context".

"Careful reading reveals that there is nothing there despite the sensational material," Moro said on Twitter.

The Car Wash task force confirmed its investigators had been hacked, but said it did not know the extent of the breach.

1/ EXCLUSIVE: We obtained one of the largest & most important archives of leaked material in years: containing the secret chats, audios, videos & documents of the prosecutors & Judge - now Bolsonaro's Justice Minister, Sergio Moro - who imprisoned Lula. It shows vast wrongdoing.

Politically motivated

Lula, who led Brazil through an historic boom from 2003 to 2010, has denied all corruption charges against him, arguing they were politically motivated to prevent him from competing in the elections.

He is serving a reduced jail term of eight years and 10 months after being convicted of accepting a seaside apartment as a bribe for helping the OAS construction company get lucrative deals with state oil firm Petrobras.

While behind bars, Lula's Workers' Party registered him as its presidential candidate in August 2018 - two months before the election. However, an electoral court barred him two weeks later.

A second conviction was handed down in February, for which he was sentenced to almost 13 years.

Fernando Haddad, PT's election candidate who lost to Bolsonaro, said on Twitter "we could be facing the biggest institutional scandal in the history of the republic".

"The truth will prevail" was posted on Lula's Twitter account above a link to The Intercept stories. 

Days before filing the indictment that put Lula in jail, group chats involving prosecutors in the case showed that chief prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol "expressed his increasing doubts over two key elements of the prosecution's case: whether the triplex was in fact Lula's and whether it had anything to do with Petrobras".

The leaked material also shows "Car Wash prosecutors spoke openly of their desire to prevent the PT from winning the election and took steps to carry out that agenda", The Intercept reported.

"Moro secretly and unethically collaborated with the Car Wash prosecutors to help design the case against Lula ... only for him to then pretend to be its neutral adjudicator."

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