Brasilia: A Brazilian judge today rejected a motion by lawyers for former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to order him safe from jail while he fights a corruption conviction threatening his political comeback hopes.
The defence team applied to the Superior Court of Justice with a habeas corpus request.
This would have meant Lula, who ruled from 2003-2010, remained free for now, despite last week’s upholding by an appeal’s court of his conviction.
Judge Humberto Martins wrote that he did not think the leftist leader risked any “illegal procedure” or “immediate imprisonment” and therefore was rejecting the motion.
This further reduces Lula’s options for staying out of jail or avoiding being barred from running in the October presidential election. Opinion polls show him as frontrunner in the race. His case could still reach the Supreme Court.
Last week, the appeals court sentenced Lula to more than 12 years in prison after confirming a lower court conviction for corruption and money laundering.
Lula’s lawyers filed papers with the United Nations human rights body in Geneva on Tuesday, accusing the court case against Lula of violating his rights to a fair trial.