CURITIBA, Brazil — Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva walked out of jail on Friday, less than a day after the Supreme Court ruled that a person can be imprisoned only after all the appeals have been exhausted.
Hundreds of red-shirted supporters gathered outside the federal police building in southern city of Curitiba, cheered the popular, 74-year-old politician, whose release could rally a demoralized opposition.
Da Silva, who is appealing his conviction of corruption and money laundering in connection with the purchase of a beachfront apartment in Sao Paulo state, embraced his daughter, raised his fist to the sky, then made his way onto a stage where he was surrounded by his girlfriend and others.
“You have no idea the dimension of the significance of me being here with you,” Da Silva told jubilant supporters, thanking individual union leaders and members of his leftist Workers’ Party. “They didn’t arrest a man. They tried to detain an idea. An idea doesn’t disappear.”