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Brazil braces for corruption appeal that could make or break ex-president  - Guardian
Brazil is bracing for a historic court decision which could remove the most popular leader in modern Brazilian history from an election he is currently poised to win - and may prove devastating to the leftwing Workers' party he founded.

Nerves are stretched taut ahead of Wednesday's appeals court decision, in which three judges will decide whether or not to uphold the conviction of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on corruption and money laundering charges.

Lula - who is still hugely popular after his 2003-2010 two-term presidency - is currently the early favourite in October's presidential election.

Porto Alegre's rightwing mayor Nelson Marchezan asked for the army to protect the city from thousands of Lula supporters expected to descend. The Workers' party president, Gleisi Hoffmann, said last week that for Lula to be arrested, "they will have to kill people" - although she later qualified the remark.

Authorities have closed airspace over the court, sealed off the surrounding streets, and plan to deploy helicopters, elevated observation platforms and even rooftop sharpshooters.

by Bernard on Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 at 09:15:03 PM EST
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