Brazil justice asks for time to review da Silva petition

December 4, 2018
Former Brazilian Judge Sergio Moro, who was appointed Justice Minister by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, speaks to the press as he arrives to his team's transition office in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. Bolsonaro will be sworn in as Brazil's next president on Jan. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A justice on Brazil’s top court on Tuesday asked for more time to review a petition on whether to release ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from prison.

Justice Gilmar Mendes’ request meant an indefinite suspension of the session. It was unclear when the court may pick back up the case.

The suspension came after two of the five judges on the reviewing panel voted against da Silva, who led Brazil between 2003 and 2010.

Da Silva has been in jail since April after being convicted of corruption for trading favors with construction company OAS for the promise of a beachfront apartment.

He denies wrongdoing, but several other petitions to lower courts and the Supreme Federal Tribunal have been denied.

The new petition contended that the judge who convicted da Silva failed to act impartially.

Then-Judge Sergio Moro headed the sprawling “Car Wash” corruption probe and his conviction of da Silva in July 2017 ultimately kept the former leader from running for president this year.

Moro recently accepted an invitation from President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to be justice minister.

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