On January 24, Brazil’s Federal Appellate Court of the 4th region (TRF4) sets the stage for October’s presidential election. Three of the court’s judges will decide whether or not to confirm a July 2017 conviction of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for corruption and money laundering.
Lula was found guilty of accepting a beachfront apartment as a kickback from OAS, a construction company. In exchange for the apartment, Lula allegedly benefited OAS by granting contracts with the federal administration.
While the prosecution has made a strong case that the apartment was meant specifically for Lula, the case against him remains riddled with problems. So far, prosecutors have failed to prove exactly how Lula benefited OAS. Of course, Lula might appear guilty at first glance – but courts of law shouldn’t operate on appearance, but rather on evidence.