Brazil’s trial of the year: what you need to know

The Brazilian Supreme Court. Photo: Nelson Jr/SCO/STF
The Brazilian Supreme Court. Photo: Nelson Jr/SCO/STF

On Thursday, Brazil’s Supreme Court kicked off what has been billed as the biggest trial of 2019. In three separate cases, the country’s highest court will provide a definitive decision on whether or not defendants may be imprisoned before exhausting all of their routes of appeal. A complicated matter that dates all the way back to the 1940s, a change in precedents now could see the release of high-profile figures from jail, including none other than former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Political observers in the country dropped everything that they were doing to watch the trial yesterday,...

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