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Brazil's former President Lula released from prison

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Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva has been released from prison on Friday in Curitiba, southern Brazil.

Silva walked out of the jail after 19 months, where he was serving a 12-year corruption sentence, after a supreme court ruling that delighted his supporters and infuriated followers of the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

After emerging out of the prison, the two-time president was greeted by family, friends, supporters and party faithful who were waving red flags and "Free Lula" signs outside the jail in the southern city of Curitiba.

Lula offered his "eternal gratitude" to his supporters camped outside and vowed that he hasn't been defeated yet.

"I leave here without hate. At the age of 74 my heart only has room for love," Lula said after his release.

Lula was imprisoned in April 2018 after a sentence for corruption and money laundering handed down by the judge Sergio Moro was upheld by an appeal court. His early release was made possible by a Supreme Court decision on Thursday night that determined defendants can remain free until they have exhausted all appeals. That ruling reversed a previous decision that had helped put dozens of powerful politicians and business leaders behind bars. Following his early release, the former president said that as a migrant from the poor northeast there isn't anything that can beat him, CNN reported.

Last year, he was leading presidential candidate up till the Brazilian Supreme court cancelled his candidature.

Though Lula is still ineligible to run for office yet his release is expected to heighten tensions in an already polarized Brazil.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 09 2019. 13:37 IST
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