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Brazil's Ex-President 'Lula' Defies Court, Jail
07 April 2018, 02:39 | Myrtle Vega
Crowds in S ão Paulo block Lula from handing himself in
The lawyers of Brazil's disgraced former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were negotiating the terms of his surrender with federal police on Friday after he missed the 5 p.m. (2000 UTC/GMT) deadline to hand himself in.
The former president would remain inside the headquarters of the Metal Workers' Union in Sao Bernardo do Campo near Sao Paulo, where he has been staying since Thursday, and await the federal police, said Lula's defense lawyer Jose Roberto Batochio in an interview with the Folha de Sao Paulo daily.
On Thursday, a federal judge ordered Lula da Silva's arrest after the country's Supreme Court ruled that he must start serving the 12 years.
A plane is also waiting for him if he turns himself in to authorities in Sao Paulo, the outlet says.
"This has always been Lula: a crook and a radical who doesn't respect the law", said Edson Soares, a 70-year-old retiree at a shopping mall near the union building.
Hundreds of supporters filled the street outside the union headquarters, cheering defiant speeches calling the case a political witch hunt.
A banner hung from the building showed Mr Lula's smiling face on an electronic voting machine.
"We are here to show that the workers will resist this attack against democracy", said Jorge Nazareno, a union leader who said he had met briefly with Lula yesterday morning.
In a sign of possible friction on the horizon, within minutes after Moro's arrest warrant, a fight broke out in front of the Lula Institute in Sao Paulo between hecklers and supporters of da Silva.
The accusations against him emerged after he left office in 2011.
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He left office with sky-high approval of 83 per cent and was called "the most popular politician on Earth" by former US President Barack Obama.
Mr Lula was convicted past year of taking a luxury apartment as a kickback from a big construction company.
Prof. Falcao said that the order from Judge Moro that Brazilians interpreted as an arrest warrant, was in fact a sort of invitation, and he would now need to issue another compelling the state to take the former president into custody.
Mr Lula was convicted past year for taking bribes from an engineering firm in return for help landing contracts with state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.
Brazil's second-highest court rejected Lula's request to stay out of jail until exhausting all appeals against his corruption conviction.
He says charges against him are politically motivated and created to stop him from running from president.
Lula was found guilty and sentenced to prison for nine-and-a-half years in 2017. In August, the country's top electoral court makes final decisions about candidacies.
It was one of Moro's most explosive decisions since taking over the sprawling probe which initially centered on Petrobras, the flagship state oil company, but which has since expanded to embrace Brazil's economic and political elites.
"I don't see why he should turn himself in just because Judge Moro had an anxiety crisis", Senator Lindbergh Farias, of Lula's Workers' Party, told journalists at the union. "The worldwide trade union movement stands in absolute solidarity with our Brazilian colleagues and will assist in every way we can their quest to defend democracy and reinstate the rule of law", said Burrow. "Plan A, B and C is Lula, because he is innocent. He will be our president".
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