Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, serving a prison sentence in a closed regime, will move to a semi-open regime for sufficient punishment, according to the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF) of Brazil with the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) on Tuesday, June 4.
The right of Lula da Silva to progress to a semi-open regime was raised by the Deputy Attorney General of the Brazilian Republic, Aurea Lustosa Pierre, on May 21 at the STJ. Turning to the semi-open prison regime, any inmate sleeps in prison, but may leave during the day to work.
In the presentation of her position, Aurea Lustosa Pierre argued that there was an "omission" in the judgment of the college of judges of the Fifth Panel of the STJ that reduced Lula's penalty in the case of the triplet in Guarujá, São Paulo, 12 years and 1 month of prison for 8 years, 10 months and 20 days. MPF also requested a reduction of the fine from 16 million reais (about 3,76 million euros) to 2,4 million reais (about 551,3 thousand euros).
In reducing the sentence, the STJ should have already deliberated the possible fulfillment of the sentence in a semi-open regime, taking into account the reduction of the sentence and the time that has elapsed since Lula da Silva was arrested on April 7, 2018, according to opinion of the MPF. With that would only be 7 years and 9 months of prison for the former Brazilian president.
According to the sentence set by the STJ in April, Lula da Silva would have to serve 17 months in prison to progress to the semi-open regime. The former Brazilian head of state is serving 14 months in jail on Friday.
In support of her position, the Assistant Attorney General cited the Penal Code and stressed that penalties of less than eight years can begin to be served in a semi-open regime.
Under the Criminal Enforcement Act, after serving one-sixth of the sentence, the defendant may progress to a semi-open regime, so he may leave the jail during the day to be able to work.
Lula da Silva was sentenced on July 12, 2017 to nine years and six months in prison in the case of the apartment in São Paulo. Currently, he is serving a sentence in a closed regime, at the headquarters of the Federal Police in Curitiba, for passive corruption and money laundering. At the time, the sentence at first instance was delivered by then Judge Sérgio Moro, the current Brazilian Justice Minister under Jair Bolsonaro.
In January 2018, the conviction was upheld by the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region, a court of second instance, which increased the sentence to 12 years and a month in prison. After a year and four months, on April 23, 2019, the judges of the STJ unanimously decided to reduce the sentence of the former President, from 12 years and one month to eight years, 10 months and 20 days in prison.
According to the Brazilian courts, Lula received an apartment as a bribe to benefit from construction company OAS with state oil company Petrobras.
In addition to the lawsuit filed by the former president of the Brazilian Labor Party, the former governor is also responsible for six other lawsuits pending before the Brazilian courts.
Therefore, even if he can transfer to the semi-open regime, Lula da Silva may return to the closed regime if he is convicted in other cases.