Lula da Silva Imprisonment: “As of Today, Lula Can not be a Presidential Candidate”

July 16, 2018

July, 11 2018 (Panampost)

Although Brazil is in the same continent, both its language and the functioning of its judicial system can generate confusion among Spanish speakers. Now that former president Lula da Silva is in prison and there are calls for his release, there remain more questions than answers.

While supporters of former president Lula da Silva demand that he be released from prison in order that he can run as a presidential candidate, it is the justice system, not public opinion, which will have the last word.

The PanAm Post recently spoke with legal expert Luis Claudio Martins de Araujo to clarify some doubts regarding Lula’s incarceration, legal status, and political future.

To better understand the judicial process, Martins explains which legal parties are involved in Lula’s case. The “debtor-rapporteur” is the judge who, in normal situations, would be responsible for conducting the proceedings before the court; that is, a second level judge.

Whereas a “judge-on-call” would normally be responsible for conducting the proceedings when the court is in recess, on weekends, and during exceptional and urgent cases. That is to say, this type of judge works in special and extraordinary circumstances.

What is Lula’s current situation? What happened?

The president of the Federal Regional Court of the Fourth Region ruled that the decision of the debtor-rapporteur (second level judge) should prevail over the decision made by the judge-on-call.

Is there enough evidence to imprison him?

This judgment corresponds to the judge of the case. But Judge Moro and the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region have ruled that there was sufficient evidence. In parallel, the Federal Supreme Court examined the habeas corpus requested by the former president, which could be followed by the sentence after the decision rendered by the court.