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[Published: Monday July 09 2018]

 Brazil judges spar over ex-president Lula release

BRASILIA 9 Jul (ANA)  - Brazil's ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, better known as Lula, is to remain in prison after a day of legal wrangling.

On Sunday, an on-call judge ruled that Lula should be released, but Judge Joao Pedro Gerbran Neto rejected this.

Eduardo Thompson Flores, the head of the federal court that convicted Lula, has now stepped in and said that there is no legal basis for his release.

Lula says he is innocent and the case is politically motivated.

His conviction was part of an anti-corruption investigation known as Operation Car Wash, which has implicated top politicians from several parties.

The initial announcement by Rogerio Favreto - the weekend duty judge - came after members of Lula's Workers Party challenged his jailing in an application on Friday.

Mr Favreto had said the politician should be freed from jail while he appeals a 12-year sentence for corruption and money laundering.

"With all due respect, [Mr Favreto] has absolutely no qualified authority to override the decision," responded Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who has been the driving force behind Operation Car Wash.

He told police to wait for clarification on the legal impasse.

Judge Joao Pedro Gerbran Neto then overruled the decision, ordering police and jail authorities not to take any action.

Mr Faverto then raised his order for the third time, but the one-hour deadline he imposed on police passed without any move being made to free the ex-president.

The head of the court's intervention means that Lula will remain in prison.(ANA)
FA/ANA/9 July 2018---------

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