Supreme Court upholds decision to annul Lula’s convictions

The decision also restores the former president’s political rights

Published in 16/04/2021 - 11:36 By André Richter - Brasília

With eight votes against three, Brazil’s Supreme Court decided to uphold the move to annul the convictions of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during a plenary session held Thursday (Apr. 15).

The justices considered the appeal from Brazil’s Office of Prosecutor-General against the individual decision of rapporteur Justice Edson Fachin, who squashed the convictions linked to the triplex apartment in coastal Guarujá and the ranch in Atibaia. The convictions were pronounced by former Judge Sergio Moro and Judge Gabriela Hardt, of the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba, Paraná state.

By pronouncing the ruling on March 8, Fachin decided that the 13th Federal Court had no legal jurisdiction to evaluate the accusations. With the move, the erstwhile president faces no more restrictions in the country’s electoral courts, and can run for public posts once again.

The ex-leader had been sentenced to eight years and ten months in prison over the triplex apartment and 17 in the ranch case, both locations in São Paulo. In both cases, he was accused of being illicitly benefited by construction companies, which was regarded as corruption and money laundering.

Defense

In a note, Lula’s defense lawyers Cristiano Zanin and Valeska Teixeira Martins said the Supreme Court pronounced “a historic decision reinforcing the rule of law, as it confirms, by majority of votes, the decision proffered on March 8, 2021, by Justice Edson Fachin and renders definitive the lack of jurisdiction of the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba in trying the cases regarding former President Lula, with the resulting annulment of decisions—including the unjust convictions imposed on Lula—and reestablishes his political rights.”

The note continues: “The lack of jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Curitiba has been affirmed by us, counsel of former President Lula, since the first statement filed in Curitiba, in 2016, and was sustained by all instances of the Judiciary branch until it reached the Supreme Court.”

The note concludes that the decision of the Supreme Court restores the legal security and the credibility of Brazil’s court system.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Pedro Ivo de Oliveira / Nira Foster

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