Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice, the nation’s second highest tribunal, on Tuesday denied a motion that would have shielded former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from arrest. The court voted 5-0 to deny the motion. The former president has been convicted of corruption charges carrying a 12-year prison term. Earlier this year, he lost an appeal against the charges in a federal appeals court. Prosecutors have called for Lula’s immediate arrest and the start of his prison sentence. Lawyers for Lula argued that he should not be arrested until all pending appeals, including one before the Brazilian Supreme Court, have been exhausted. Lawyers for Lula said they will immediately appeal Tuesday’s ruling to the Brazilian Supreme Court, asking the nation’s highest tribunal to delay any move to arrest Lula until all substantive appeals have been dealt with. No date has been set for a Supreme Court hearing on the appeal. Denial of the appeal by the Supreme Court could lead to Lula’s immediate arrest.
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