, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Jan 29 – Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been denied permission to leave prison, where he is serving time for corruption, to attend the burial of his older brother Wednesday.
Genival Inacio da Silva died Tuesday at age 79 after a battle with cancer. His wake took place late Tuesday and he was to be buried Wednesday in Sao Bernando do Campo, near Sao Paulo.
Lula’s lawyers lodged a request Tuesday with a judge so that their client could attend both events, invoking a law that covers such circumstances.
But the judge ruled against it, agreeing with police who said they could not logistically organize Lula’s leave in such a short period of time, especially in terms of transport and sufficient security for a high-profile prisoner.
Lula, who led Brazil between 2003 and 2010 and who had treatment in 2012 to beat cancer, is serving a 12-year prison term for taking a bribe in the form of a seaside apartment and money laundering.
He is incarcerated in Curitiba, a city 400 kilometers (250 miles) southwest of Sao Paulo, and faces prosecution in eight other cases.
Lula, 73, has said he is innocent of all the charges against him, claiming he is the target of a political conspiracy to prevent him from seeking a presidential comeback.
In 2007, his brother was investigated for suspected influence-peddling on behalf of a group involved in illegal gambling, but the case was dropped for lack of evidence.