Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was denied a fair trial when convicted of corruption in 2018 and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.
In a decision by a 3-2 vote, judges agreed that then prosecuting judge Sergio Moro failed to show impartiality in trying the case, which arose from an anti-corruption investigation called Operation Car Wash.
Lula was convicted of accepting a bribe in the form of a luxury apartment from a construction company in exchange for lucrative government contracts, and served one year and seven months behind bars, from April 2018 to November 2019.
The conviction derailed his aspiration to run again for the presidency.
Moro later resigned from the judiciary to become Minister of Justice and Public Security under the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, but left the office in April last year due to serious differences with the president.
Earlier this month, supreme court judge Edson Fachin annulled all the convictions against Lula that had been handed down by the Federal Court of Parana state as part of Operation Car Wash.
These developments have restored Lula’s right to run for public office, fueling speculation that the leader of Brazil’s Workers’ Party might compete in general elections slated for October 2022.