20:07 GMT02 March 2021
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    Thousands of supporters and opponents of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have flooded the capital of Brasilia as the Supreme Court had debated the fate of the former Brazilian president.

    A majority of Brazil’s Supreme Court justices voted late on Wednesday to put former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in jail pending his appeal to overturn a graft conviction.

    Six of the eleven justices present ruled that the 72-year-old should start the 12-year jail term he was given in January after his previous appeal against a July conviction backfired, increasing his penalty by two and a half years.

    Previous month, Brazil’s Prosecutor’s Office has asked the court to put the former President in jail after the defendant’s legal team appealed the court’s decision to convict the ex-leader.

    A warrant for Lula's arrest can be issued any moment. His probable jailing comes months before the presidential election in October, where the leftist politician was the main frontrunner. He is not expected to be able to run once he is in prison.

    The 72-year-old Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sentenced to 9.5 years in jail last summer on bribery charges. An appeals court upheld the ruling against the former politician, who denied any wrongdoing, in January and increased the sentence to 12 years.


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