Fred Arruda, Brazil’s ambassador to the UK, says his country’s judiciary is fully independent and due process of law is faithfully observed

The letter (11 April) from a group of MPs and other political figures claiming that former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is a “political prisoner” is not only offensive to a democratic country and its institutions, but also completely ignorant of the facts of the case.

In Brazil, the judiciary is fully independent and due process of law is faithfully observed. All defendants facing criminal prosecution fully enjoy the guarantee of a fair trial and the right to appeal many times against an unfavourable sentence. Lula’s case has already been analysed by different judges in different levels of jurisdiction. Any suggestion that his conviction – or that of any defendant in the Brazilian judicial system – could be politically motivated is absurd and disregards the high professionalism and independence of Brazil’s democratic institutions. It is worth remembering that many other high-level politicians across the whole political spectrum (including fierce adversaries of Lula), not to mention some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country, were also investigated, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned.

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