Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court upheld a ruling Thursday annulling former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s corruption convictions, which cleared the way for him to run for a new presidential term next year.
The decision, which was widely expected, came after Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin determined in early March that the lower federal court where Lula was tried lacked jurisdiction, a ruling that was quickly appealed by Brazil’s top prosecutor.
Lula, 75, governed Latin America’s biggest country and largest economy from 2003 to 2011, overseeing a commodities boom that turbocharged economic growth.
In 2018, he was convicted of taking bribes from engineering firms in return for public contracts and spent a year and a half behind bars, until the Supreme Court ruled he and others could appeal their cases without serving time.
Lula and his supporters blasted the anti-corruption task force that brought him down, called Operation Car Wash, as a politically driven effort. Leaked conversations in 2019 raised questions about whether investigators had cut corners to secure prosecutions.
The task force was disbanded in February.