Federal judge Rogerio Favreto made the decision and requested that it be carried out “with urgency”.

The release of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, imprisoned since April 7 for corruption, could be imminent, official sources confirmed today.

Judge Favreto of the Federal Regional Court of the Fourth Region, based in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, granted a writ of habeas corpus to Lula and requested that the measure be carried out under an “emergency” regime.

The judge, adopted this measure so that Lula can exercise his right as a candidate for the presidency of Brazil.

“I abide by the emergency status on this date by presenting the Order of Release or this order to any police authority present in the prison headquarters of the Superintendency of the Federal Police in Curitiba, where the subject is detained,” Favreto pointed in his decision.

Federal judge Sergio Moro, who convicted the former president, reacted quickly by issuing a new order in which he questions Favreto’s competence to adopt this decision.

Lula was sentenced by federal judge Sergio Moro and by a regional court, to twelve years in prison for the crimes of passive corruption and money laundering for accepting a luxury triplex in Sao Paulo as payment from the OAS construction company in exchange for political favors.

The former union leader union can challenge his current status by taking his case to the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Tribunal of Brazil to reverse the sentence.

If his conviction is upheld, Lula would not be able to run in the presidential elections of October 7.

Favreto determined the provisional suspension of the sentence and the release of Lula because in his opinion, the former president’s imprisonment “prevents him from exercising his rights as a pre-candidate for the presidency of the Brazilian Republic”, even though he is virtually disqualified after being convicted in the second instance.

Lula himself made the news public via his Twitter account. He posted the following message: “Lula is already free.”

Lula has been imprisoned since April at the headquarters of the Federal Police of Curitiba after being sentenced in the second instance to twelve years and one month in prison for corruption.

The former Worker’s Party leader was previously sentenced in July of last year by Judge Sergio Moro, in charge of the investigations into the Petrobras case, to  9 years and 6 months in prison for the crimes of passive corruption and money laundering.

Moro considered he had enough proof to decide that the former president received a three-story apartment on the beach in exchange for favoring the construction company OAS in the awarding of public contracts by state oil company Petrobras.

That sentence was extended to twelve years and one month by an appellate court.

The judicial decision stipulates that the release must take place “in accordance with the emergency regime as of today, by presenting this order to any police authority present at the headquarters of the Federal Police of Curitiba”, where Lula is imprisoned.

If he gets his way, Lula will be the first convicted criminal to carry out an electoral campaign and have a chance to be re-elected president of Brazil.

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