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Brazilian Former President Lula Freed from Prison

HeadlineNov 11, 2019

In Brazil, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was greeted by crowds of his supporters as he walked free from jail on Friday.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: “You have no idea of the significance for me to be here with you. I, who my whole life talked with the Brazilian people, never thought that today I could be here talking with men and women who, during the past 580 days, were here saying, 'Good morning, Lula,' 'Good afternoon, Lula,' yelling, 'Good night, Lula,' no matter if it was raining, if it was 40 degrees or zero degrees. … I want to tell you that from here I’m going to São Paulo. Tomorrow I have a meeting with the metallurgical union. And after it, the doors of Brazil will be open for me to go around the country.”

His freedom came after the Supreme Court ended mandatory imprisonment for people convicted of a crime who lost their first appeal. He had been imprisoned for a year and a half after he was convicted of accepting a beachside apartment from an engineering firm vying for contracts at the state oil company Petrobras. He denies the charges. Many of Lula’s supporters say his conviction and jailing ahead of Brazil’s 2018 presidential election, in which Lula was the front-runner, was politically motivated. His jailing cleared the way for the election of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsanaro. Click here to see our full interview with Lula just before he was imprisoned.

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