A panel for the Brazil Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday unanimously ruled to reduce former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s 12-year prison sentence to approximately nine years
In deciding to reduce his sentence, the panel ruled that his sentence was excessively increased. Lula was convicted of bribery with a construction company in exchange for a luxury beachfront apartment as apart of the “Carwash operation.” In January 2018 a group of federal magistrates upheld his conviction and increased his sentence by two-and-a-half years.
Lula is also appealing his second sentence of 13 years for accepting bribes from construction companies in the form of home renovation work in exchange for awarding the companies government contracts.
Silva has continued to deny on allegations against him, alleging them to be politically motivated.
The reduction in his first sentence could make his eligible for “semi-open” prison sometime this year, which is available after completion of 1/6 of one’s sentence, if his second appeal is successful. This would allow him to work during the day away from prison and spend nights sleeping there.
Lula left the presidency with a high approval rating and was expected to win a third term, but was prevented from running after the corruption investigations began. Lula’s supporters claim this is political persecution by the right-wing party to prevent the still incredibly popular Lula from running again.