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Brazil appeals court orders ex-president Lula's release

AFP  |  Rio de Janeiro 

A Brazilian appeals court today delivered a surprise ruling ordering the release of former Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 72, who has been jailed since April for corruption and could now be released within hours.

Leftist firebrand Lula -- who was convicted of accepting a seaside apartment as a bribe from Brazilian construction company -- has been battling to overturn his 12-year sentence in the hopes of making another presidential bid in elections in October.

ruled in favour of several deputies of Lula's who on Friday had submitted a habeas corpus application on the former president's behalf.

On the heels of the ruling, top -- who originally sentenced Lula -- said the did not have the power to secure the leftist's release, declaring the decision "monocratic." "Lula free now!" read the popular politician's account, praising "the end of the illegal imprisonment of Lula."

But even if released, Lula -- who ruled from 2003 to 2011, leaving office with sky-high ratings -- could see his candidacy invalidated by the South American country's electoral court.

Despite his jailing, Lula has consistently led presidential polls. He insists he is innocent and has branded the accusations of accepting the apartment as a conspiracy aimed at thwarting his electoral bid.

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

First Published: Sun, July 08 2018. 22:30 IST