Imprisoned in the city of Curitiba, south Brazil, since April 7, onetime President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sent a letter to the national president of his Workers’ Party (PT), Senator Gleisi Hoffmann, saying he still plans to run for president in the October election.
“I am a candidate until the truth comes out and the media, the judges and prosecutors show the crime I committed and stop lying,” Lula says in his letter.
Next, the former leader states, “[As for] those who do not want me to be a candidate, I know their political reasons—they are competitors. Others think I was sentenced by an appellate court and therefore I am guilty and stand in the limbo of the Clean Record Law [a law signed by Lula himself which bans Brazilians criminally convicted at appellate courts to run for public positions].”
In the letter, Lula reiterates his innocence and argues that acknowledging some sort of plan B in this presidential campaign (in the form of another candidate, for instance) would be confessing a crime he did not commit. He refers to the case in which he was sentenced to 12 years and one month in jail for corruption and money laundering.
Court authorities have decided that the former president was benefited by a transfer of approximately $1 million in bribes—paid through the concession of a triplex apartment complex in coastal Guarujá, São Paulo—in exchange for favoring construction company OAS in contracts with state-controlled oil giant Petrobras.