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Lula still in prison after Brazil judge voids shock release order

AFP  |  Rio De Janeiro 

A Brazilian on Sunday quashed a fellow judge's bombshell ruling ordering the release of jailed former Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in a day of legal tumult that comes just months before the South American country's

Though he is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption, the wildly popular leftist Lula, 72, continues to lead opinion polls ahead of October's election and has vowed his name will be on the ballot.

In his Sunday afternoon ruling, overturned a shock order to free Lula, which dropped just hours earlier from at an appeals court in -- the same one that had ordered the ex-president's arrest.

Favreto, the weekend duty judge, had ruled in favor of several deputies of Lula's Workers' Party, who on Friday submitted a habeas corpus application on the former president's behalf, arguing he had been illegally imprisoned. On the heels of the first ruling, top -- who originally sentenced Lula in July 2017 -- said Favreto did not have the power to secure the leftist's release.

Gebran Neto followed suit, instructing federal police at a prison in to keep Lula behind bars.

Lula has been imprisoned since April following his conviction for accepting a seaside apartment as a bribe from Brazilian construction company

He has insisted on his innocence and branded the corruption accusations a political conspiracy aimed at thwarting his electoral aspirations. After ruling from 2003 to 2011, Lula left office with sky-high ratings following an economic boom and widely praised social programs to reduce poverty.

"Lula free now!" read the popular politician's account after Favreto's order, praising the short-lived hope for "the end of the illegal imprisonment of Lula." But even if released, Lula could see his candidacy invalidated by the South American country's electoral court.

Brazilian courts have repeatedly stifled his many efforts to secure release. Just last month the South American country's withdrew Lula's appeal from its agenda, after a lower appeals court ruled the prison sentence could not be referred to the top bench.

The lower court said the top chamber should only handle cases related to possible constitutional violations, a standard which Lula's request did not meet. Prosecutors in May filed new graft charges against Lula, his ex-economy and two other political figures allegedly promised $40 million by the conglomerate, which is also linked to corruption scandals elsewhere in

The charges are part of operation "Car Wash," Brazil's biggest ever anti-graft crackdown. It has targeted several former presidents, current and politicians from all major parties.

Investigators discovered that politicians and their parties were allegedly taking money from and other big companies in exchange for political favors and contracts with company

Yet Lula and his supporters remain steadfast in their goal to take back control of Brazil's executive branch.

Just last week the former -- who had been writing football commentary from jail, which a veteran Brazilian and leftist sympathizer then read on air -- ceased commenting on to comply with electoral rules forbidding potential candidates from making television and radio appearances after June 30.

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

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 01:10 IST