Lula: Toffoli’s arguments to free former president even after brother’s funeral

By | January 31, 2019

The president of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), minister Dias Toffoli, has authorized former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to leave the prison on Wednesday to meet relatives after his brother’s death in São Bernardo do Campo, in Greater São Paulo. Genival Inácio da Silva, the Vavá, died as a result of a lung tumor.

Toffoli’s decision was issued minutes before Vavá’s funeral, which occurred around 1 pm at the Pauliceia Cemetery.

The granting of habeas corpus is contrary to the decisions of the Federal Police and lower courts. The PF had denied yesterday the departure of Lula from the prison based on several arguments, among them: risk of escape or rescue, unavailability of air transport in time for the arrival before the burial (PF aircraft are in Brumadinho), risks in the carriage ride between the landing place of the helicopter and the graveyard, lack of security agents to guarantee public order and security, and, finally, disturbances to the tranquility of the funeral ceremony.

The dismissal request was denied by Judge Carolina Lebbos, responsible for the execution of Lula’s sentence. She stated that she was not “insensitive to the nature of the defense’s request”, but said there was “a concrete logistical impossibility of moving” and “ensuring the preservation of the public security and physical integrity of the prisoner himself.

The judge also cited the vigil around the PF in Curitiba, which had a presence of 2,000 people in the New Year, who gave a “hug” around the building where Lula is imprisoned. The decision also cites the risk of Lula’s flight in the displacement; of attacks against his life and of protests in his favor. The order of Lebbos was confirmed by the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region, but reformed by the STF.

The reasons for Toffoli

In his decision, the president of the STF stated that the “possible intercurrences pointed out in the police report” should not prevent the fulfillment of a right provided for by the Law of Criminal Execution. Article 120 states that “convicted persons serving a sentence in a closed or semi-open regime and provisional prisoners may obtain permission to leave the establishment by escort” in case of “death or serious illness of the spouse, partner, ascendant, descendant or brother.”

Toffoli determined that the applicant’s right to meet family members in a reserved and pre-established place to give due support to his relatives, even after burial, should be partially enforced, since there is no objection to the law “.

According to the President of the Court, “rendering assistance to the prisoner is an undeniable duty of the State (article 10, of Law no. 7.210 / 84), and it is certain, in addition, that the Brazilian Republic has as one of its fundamental pillars the dignity of human person “.

Toffoli granted “the right to meet exclusively with his relatives, as of today, in a military unit in the region, including with the possibility of the body of the person whose being taken to said military unit, at the discretion of the family.”

The minister of the STF, however, vetoed the “use of cell phones and other external media, as well as the presence of the press and the making of public statements” in order to “ensure the safety of the present, of the applicant, and of the public agents who accompany him “.

Lula does not go any more.

According to PT leaders, Lula decided not to go to São Bernardo to meet with his relatives after the Supreme’s release.

“It’s unfortunate that the decision has only come out at this time, it’s totally unfeasible.It was not to come to see the body of the Vavá, it was to talk with the family.Lula with great dignity thanked, but not coming, , said former minister Gilberto Carvalho to the G1 news site.

Paulo Okamotto, president of the Lula Institute, told the G1 that Toffoli’s decision presents a “correct criticism of the cruelty of the judge, to the cynicism of the Federal Police that claimed logistical and security reasons to prevent a right of President Lula.”

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