Brazil’s Supreme Court has denied former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s request to remain free while he appeals his 12-year jail term for corruption. The final judgement was a narrow one, with six of the judges voting in favor and five opposed.
The ruling will put the former president, affectionately known as ‘Lula’ by supporters, behind bars during the run-up to the general election in October, effectively taking him out of the race and denying him the possibility of presidential immunity against prosecution.
The judgement represents the latest setback in the stunning fall-from-grace of one of Brazil’s most loved politicians. Lula presided over a considerable economic expansion during his two terms in office. When he stepped down in 2011, his approval ratings were still in the 80s. Now around 53% of Brazilians want him jailed.