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Financial News: BRAZIL: Justice Denies Collective Habeas Corpus

BRAZIL: Justice Denies Collective Habeas Corpus

03/20/2018 - 16:56:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) Justice Gilmar Mendes has denied a collective habeas corpus (HC) filed by a group of lawyers that wanted to prevent people convicted in second instance courts from being imprisoned.

The decision revived a discussion that could define if the former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would be allowed to a new presidential bid later this year.

The habeas corpus called for attention to "all citizens who are in prison, and those who are about to be, for provisional execution of sentence, resulting from a confirmed conviction in the second instance."

According to the lawyers, these people are "suffering from illegal embarrassment," due to the omission of the Justice C?rmen L?cia, STF's chairwoman, who refuses to rule on the issue, since there is a 2016 decision authorizing provisional execution of sentence previously to any final ruling.

In this regard, the lawyers deemed Carmen L?cia's positioning as a "discretionary and omissive act, in addition to causing illegal embarrassment" and call for the suspension of all prisons and those that are about to happen.

In his ruling, Mendes said that he did not see any illegal constraint to sending people to jail after conviction in second instance courts since the imprisonment does not stem from pending court procedures, "but from judicial decisions supported by the Court."

"That is to say: the alleged omission does not remove the just cause of the arrests made, nor of any future arrests, which is why it can not be recognized as an illegal constraint," Mendes wrote in his ruling. According to him, there is "no reason to support the granting of a general habeas corpus order for the release of all prisoners because of the possibility of early sentence execution and to prevent further incarceration in such cases."

Mendes also pointed out that regardless of the STF's decision, the arrest must be decreed to happen. "Although there are doubts about the maintenance of this Court's understanding on the subject, the arrests are justified," he concludes.

The issue related to the former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, sentenced to 12 years and a month in prison for corruption and money laundering, is expected to be discussed by the Supreme Court justices.

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