A Brazilian judge on Thursday ordered former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to turn himself in to police within 24 hours to serve a 12-year sentence for a graft conviction, this likely would end the presidential front-runner’s hopes of returning to power.
Lula was convicted last year for taking bribes from an engineering firm in return for help landing contracts with state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and was sentenced to almost 10 years in prison. In January, an appeals court unanimously upheld the conviction and increased the sentence to 12 years.
Earlier on Thursday, Brazil’s Supreme Court rejected Lula’s plea to remain free until he exhausts all his appeals, in a case he calls a political witch hunt.
The ruling likely ends his political career and blows October’s election wide open.