Lula to surrender after police standoff

Brazil,Landless peasant movement blocked several highways around the country Friday morning in protest of Lula's arrest warrant

Brazil,Landless peasant movement blocked several highways around the country Friday morning in protest of Lula's arrest warrant

As da Silva holed up in the metalworkers union hall following Thursday's ruling, thousands of his supporters gathered outside to demonstrate, and jostled to block authorities from taking the former president as he surrendered Saturday.

Da Silva, who Brazilians simply call "Lula" was surrounded by hundreds of diehard supporters, including leaders of his Workers Party, union workers and activists, in the industrial suburb of Sao Paulo where his political career began as a union official.

Brazil's former President Lula da Silva has ended a 24-hour standoff between his supporters and federal authorities and has turned himself in to begin serving a 12-year sentence on corruption charges, which he is still appealing.

Judge Sergio Moro had ordered Lula to report to a police station in Curitiba by 5 p.m. on Friday, but he remained at the metalworkers union headquarters, which he once led, in Sao Paulo.

Lula da Silva left office with a 90% approval rating but was questioned by police about the corruption allegations in March 2016.

The convoy, with flashing lights, then entered a highway.

Former chief justice and the first black member of Brazil's Supreme Court, Joaquim Barbosa, joined the center-left Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) late on Friday mulling a presidential bid in the October election.

Mr da Silva was convicted a year ago of taking a luxury seaside apartment near Sao Paulo as a kickback from the construction company OAS.

Lula, who grew up poor and with little formal education before becoming a trade union leader and politician, has long said he will go down fighting. But there is pressure to change that so that higher court appeals could be pursued in liberty, which would mean freedom for Lula.

"The police and "Car Wash" investigators lied". The room that's been prepared for Lula's arrival at the federal police building in Curitiba is normally used for lawyers who need to stay the night while working there, according to the AFP. But some exemptions have been made in the past, and the ultimate decision would be made by the top electoral court if and when Lula officially files to be a candidate. That conviction was upheld by an appeals court in January.

It's the latest turn in a political drama riveting Brazil in the months before it holds presidential elections, pitting a hugely popular former president against a celebrity judge known for prosecuting powerful politicians and business executives.

"It shows that he wants to emphasise his trajectory as leader of a social movement, rather than his role as leader of a party marked by allegations of corruption", he said. Technically, being jailed does not keep him off the ballot.

However, his imminent arrest is being celebrated by many Brazilians.

"I will comply with the order and all of you will become Lula", he had told the cheering crowd. The renovation was bankrolled by a company seeking contracts with the state oil giant Petrobras.

"I am the only human being to be put on trial for an apartment which does not belong to me", he said.

Still, even in prison, Lula has the right to register as a candidate. It is expected to deny da Silva's candidacy under Brazil's "clean slate" law, which disqualifies people who have had criminal convictions upheld.

Throughout his speech, the crowd, mostly wearing the red of his Workers' Party, chanted for him not to surrender.

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