Brazil high court confirms annulment of Lula graft convictions

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Brazilian former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, shown in this March 10, 2021 photo, has been cleared by the country's high court to run for a new presidential term

Brazil's full Supreme 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.

In an 8-3 ruling, the court upheld Justice Edson Fachin's March 8 decision quashing Lula's convictions on procedural grounds, which has upended Brazilian politics as far-right President Jair Bolsonaro gears up to seek re-election.

Lula, the popular but tarnished leftist who led Brazil through an economic boom from 2003 to 2010, was jailed in 2018 on charges of taking bribes from companies seeking juicy contracts at state oil giant Petrobras.

The cases felled him just as he was gearing up to seek a new presidential term, in elections Bolsonaro ultimately won.

Lula maintains he is innocent and that the case against him was a conspiracy to sideline him politically.

The full Supreme Court is also due to rule on prosecutors' appeal of a decision that found Judge Sergio Moro was biased in convicting Lula.

They set deliberations on that case for next Thursday.

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