Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil (2003-2010), was released this Friday afternoon from the Superintendence of the Federal Police of Curitiba, in the state of Paraná, where he remained one year and seven months deprived of liberty. Dressed all in black, Lula was been greeted by family members and a crowd of supporters dressed in red shirts, a symbol of the Workers Party (PT). Chants, firecrackers and a tide of flags, many with photos of Lula, welcomed him.
“Dear comrades, I cannot express what it means to be here with you,” said Lula from a box surrounded by PT militants, whom he thanked for the support given during all this time.
“I didn’t think that today I could be here talking to men and women who shouted ‘good morning, Lula’ for 580 days, shouted ‘good night, Lula’, no matter if it was raining, no matter if it was 40 degrees, regardless of it being at zero degrees,” he told the militants.
“You were the nourishment of democracy that I needed to resist evil,” he added, while stressing that he will continue “fighting for the Brazilian people.”
Criticisms of Moro y Bolsonaro
Despite the festive tone, during his speech, the former president criticized Justice Minister Sergio Moro and Deltan Dallagnol, prosecutor in charge of the Lava Jato anti-corruption operation.
“I needed to resist to fight against the rotten side of the State, of the Federal Police, of the Public Ministry, of Justice. They worked to criminalize the left, Lula and the Workers Party,” he said. “They did not imprison a man, they tried to kill an idea. An idea did not disappear,” he said.
He also attacked the unemployment situation in Brazil and described President Jair Bolsonaro as a “liar.” The leader of the PT stressed that he leaves prison “without hate” and has the will to show that “this country can be much better with a government that does not lie as much as Bolsonaro on Twitter”. For his part, the rightist has not yet made any statement.
After introducing his daughter and grandson to supporters, Lula wanted to show his current partner, the sociologist Rosangela da Silva. “Kiss, kiss, kiss!” asked the crowd. Heeding those present, the couple kissed followed by a wave of applause.
“I have achieved the feat of being in prison to get a girlfriend who agreed to marry me,” he announced.
His release is due to an order from federal judge Danilo Pereira, issued after the ex-plaintiff’s lawyers formally requested his freedom on Friday after a ruling adopted by the Supreme Federal Court (STF).
Following the constitutional principle of presumption of innocence, the judges of the STF decided on Thursday, by six votes to five, to revoke the execution of the sentence after a second instance conviction, so the prison order can only be given after resolving all possible appeals. The former union leader still has pending legal processes, but he has been released.
Since April 2018, Lula was serving a sentence of 8 years and 10 months in prison for money laundering and passive corruption in the case of a condo, within the framework of the ‘Lava Jato’ case. The lawyers of the PT ask that the sentences imposed by Moro be annulled, because they consider that he did not act impartially when he tried the former president.
The historic leader of the left was also sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison for corruption and money laundering in the remodeling of a house in Atibaia, São Paulo, but the sentence was not confirmed in the second instance. In addition, he has at least six other proceedings denounced by many as politically motivated to take Lula out of the last presidential race that eventually was won by Bolsonaro.
“I think there will be justice in this country as long as people realize that lies cannot prevail,” Lula said in a recent exclusive interview with RT. “And that the Supreme Court of Brazil, as the guarantor institution of our Constitution, allows things to function normally again and will not let the lie prevail over the truth,” he predicted.
Translated by JRE/EF