SAO PAULO: Brazil’s Supreme Court delivered a ruling that could release almost 5,000 inmates still appealing their convictions, including former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and other powerful figures jailed in a sprawling corruption investigation.
The court decided in a 6-5 vote late Thursday that a person can be imprisoned only after all appeals to higher courts have been exhausted.
The decision appears to cover Da Silva, whose attorneys said they will request his release Friday. That move will initially depend on a judge based in the southern city of Curitiba, where the former president is jailed.
The ruling also covers others convicted in cases arising from the so-called Car Wash investigation, which has ensnared dozens of top politicians and business leaders in Latin America’s largest nation. They will now be able to seek release.
Prosecutors from the Car Wash probe said in a statement the top court’s decision “goes against the sentiment of repudiating impunity and the fight against corruption.”