The Brazilian Supreme Court has overturned former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s graft convictions after he was charged and jailed in 2018 for allegedly taking bribes from companies who wanted contracts at state oil giant Petrobras.
Lula was named in Operation Car Wash which unveiled a massive corruption scheme where top politicians and business executives took billions of dollars from Petrobras.
The Supreme Court ruled 8-3 and supported Justice Edson Fachin’s March 8 decision quashing Lula’s previous convictions on procedural grounds.
According to Fachin, the federal court of Curitiba did not have the jurisdiction to put the former leader on trial because they were not related to Petrobras anomalies.
The ruling however did not find Lula innocent but instead sent the case to another court while the prosecution wanted to reinstate two convictions.
“This is another Supreme Court ruling that reestablishes the credibility of the justice system in our country,” said Lula’s legal team.
After Lula’s sentences were annulled he gave a powerful speech at the headquarters of the Metalworkers’ Union and criticized the current president Jair Bolsonaro’s COVID-19 denialism and response.
Lula has been seen as a strong contender against Bolsonaro in the upcoming elections but he has not officially declared himself a candidate.