Supporters of jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, celebrate a Supreme Court decision that may free Da Silva, outside Brazil's Supreme Court, in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. Brazil's top court has reached a narrow decision that could release almost 5,000 inmates that are still appealing their convictions, including Da Silva. The country's Supreme Court decided by 6 votes to 5 on Thursday that a person can only be jailed after all appeals to high courts have been exhausted. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

The Latest: Brazilian judge orders release of ex-president

November 08, 2019 - 2:35 pm

SAO PAULO (AP) — The Latest on Brazilian former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Brazil's former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is set to walk out of prison after a judge ordered his release.

Federal police have to comply with Friday's order "with urgency", the decision says.

Da Silva has been detained since April 2018 after being convicted of corruption and money laundering.

The move follows a Supreme Court decision Thursday that a person can be imprisoned only after all appeals to higher courts have been exhausted.

Da Silva is still appealing the case that put him behind bars, related to the alleged purchase of a beachfront apartment in Sao Paulo state.

The former leader, who governed from 2003 to 2010, had been favored to win the 2018 presidential election, but his conviction prohibited him from running.

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1:30 p.m.

Brazil's Supreme Court delivered a ruling that could release almost 5,000 inmates still appealing their convictions, including former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and other powerful figures jailed in a sprawling corruption investigation.

The court decided in a 6-5 vote late Thursday that a person can be imprisoned only after all appeals to higher courts have been exhausted.

The decision appears to cover Da Silva, whose attorneys said they will request his release Friday. That move will initially depend on a judge based in the southern city of Curitiba, where the former president is jailed.

The ruling also covers others convicted in cases arising from the so-called Car Wash investigation, which has ensnared dozens of top politicians and business leaders in Latin America's largest nation. They will now be able to seek release.

Prosecutors from the Car Wash probe said in a statement the top court's decision "goes against the sentiment of repudiating impunity and the fight against corruption."

Supporters of Da Silva celebrated the ruling, holding up signs saying "Lula," the name by which the president who governed from 2003 to 2010 is universally known here.

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