Brazil court inundated with habeas corpus requests for Lula

July 10, 2018

A supporter of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva holds a flag that reads in Portuguese: "Free Lula," in front of the Federal Police Department where Da Silvia is serving jail time in Curitiba, Brazil, Sunday, July 8, 2018. A Brazilian appeals court judge has ordered Da Silva released from jail on Sunday, July 8, 2018, but another judge has asked the police to hold off on the order. (AP Photo/Denis Ferreira Netto)

SAO PAULO (AP) — A top Brazilian court has received 146 habeas corpus petitions on behalf of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva following a dramatic back-and-forth between lower court judges over whether he should be released from jail.

Presiding Justice Laurita Vaz of the Superior Justice Tribunal rejected one of the petitions Tuesday. None was filed by da Silva’s defense team.

In her decision, Vaz criticized a duty judge from the Fourth Federal Regional Tribunal who ordered da Silva freed Sunday. That order triggered confusion as other judges disagreed with the decision. The court’s president finally intervened and ordered da Silva remain incarcerated.

The drama reflected how contentious da Silva’s jailing is in Brazil. He began serving a sentence for a corruption conviction in April. He says the charges are politically motivated.

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