April 5, 2018 / 3:40 AM / a year ago

Brazil's top court rules Lula can be jailed for graft conviction

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a rally in Santana do Livramento, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Diego Vara

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled early on Thursday that leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva must start serving a 12-year prison sentence for taking bribes, denying his plea to remain free until he has exhausted all possible appeals.

The 6-5 decision was a blow for the country’s most popular politician who is fighting to save his political career in the face of six additional corruption cases. The case has sharply divided the country, cast a shadow over this year’s presidential election and stirred rumblings in the army.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Michael Perry

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