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Brazil judge rules imprisoned ex-president Lula can speak to press

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-09-29 09:44
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva waves to supporters in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil on April 5, 2018. [Photo/IC]

BRASILIA - Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be allowed to give two interviews in the Curitiba prison where he is serving a sentence for corruption, the Supreme Federal Court (STF) ruled Friday.

The decision of Judge Ricardo Lewandowski came after Brazil's most popular daily "Folha de Sao Paulo" argued that barring the two-time president from giving interviews would obstruct press freedom.

In August, the paper had been denied interviews with Lula by Curitiba judge, Carolina Moura Lebbos.

The ruling will now allow Lula, who has been imprisoned since April, to speak to "Folha de Sao Paulo" journalist Monica Bergamo, and journalist Florestan Fernandes.

Friday's decision also opens the door for other outlets to request interviews with the popular former president.

According to Lewandowski, barring media outlets from seeking to talk to Lula would be unlawful.

"To allow the access of certain press and prevent access of others would be a clear failure of equality in law," he said.

Lula may use the interview to publicly announce support for the Workers' Party candidate Fernando Haddad in October's presidential elections.

Haddad had been Lula's official running mate, before courts banned the former president from seeking office again due to the so-called Clean Record Act.

Lula has been in prison in Curitiba since April 7 where he is carrying out a sentence of 12 years and one month for corruption and money laundering, though he could still mount an appeal.

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