BRASILIA — Justices had been weighing whether former President Lula should be allowed to put off beginning a 12-year sentence while he appeals a corruption conviction. The ruling against Lula will likely end his political career.
Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled early on Thursday that leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva must start serving a 12-year prison sentence for taking bribes, denying his plea to remain free until he has exhausted all possible appeals.
The 6-5 decision was a blow for the country’s most popular politician who is fighting to save his political career in the face of six additional corruption cases. The case has sharply divided the country, cast a shadow over this year’s presidential election and stirred rumblings in the army.
Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Michael Perry