Lula overturns corruption charges

Lula overturns corruption charges
A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has overturned corruption charges against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, clearing the way for him to run for president in 2022.

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin threw out former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Monday on charges that he took bribes from the state oil company Petrobras. Mr Fachin’s ruling found that the court in the south-east, which convicted Lula earlier, lacked jurisdiction. In addition, Fachin has referred four corruption cases against Lula to a federal court in the capital. Two more cases are still on trial.

If the convictions are overturned, Lula, 75, will be able to run for office. Lula’s lawyers said in a statement that “Fachin’s verdict vindicates our long-held struggle.” But Lula’s defence against the charges is not complete, and he is still controversial. Lula’s press office was not immediately available for comment.

Lula was Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010. In July 2017, a court found Lula guilty of corruption and money laundering after he was found guilty of accepting a luxury house from a construction company to help it secure a Petrobras engineering contract. Lula served 18 months in prison and was released temporarily in 2019 pending an appeal, eventually serving a 26-year sentence. Lula denies all the charges and says he is being persecuted.