POLITICS – Jean-Luc Mélenchon met the most famous prisoner of Brazil. The leader of La France Insoumise "drew energy" from the former Brazilian president Lula, imprisoned for corruption, which he visited this Thursday, September 5.

The French deputy made a tour that took him from Mexico to South America (Uruguay, Argentina) where he met with left-wing politicians before arriving in Brazil.

The former presidential candidate is the first French national political leader to visit prison in Lula, with whom he has an old personal relationship.

"Be all Lula!"

He saw Lula in the premises of the federal police in Curitiba (south) where he has been detained since April 2018, before having himself a case with the justice in France.

"I come out, after drawing energy from him," he told some journalists, "I find him with the same strength of character. Be all Lula! " "I found it very strong, in all respects," added Jean-Luc Mélenchon, stating that Lula, 73, "ran nine kilometers every day running" on a treadmill.

"He called us to the resistance," he added, explaining that "much of the (discussion) focused on the use of justice in political trials," "lawfare ".

Lula claims her innocence

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, president from 2003 to 2010, is serving a sentence of eight years and ten months. Condemned for receiving a luxury beachfront apartment from a public works group in exchange for favors in awarding public contracts, Lula has repeatedly claimed his innocence, claiming to be the victim of a plot to to prevent him from returning to power.

He was the favorite of the presidential election of October 2018, but was declared ineligible a few weeks before the election, which saw the election of the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

In June, the site of investigation The Intercept Brasil published messages that cast doubt on the impartiality of the Lula prosecutors and Judge Sergio Moro, who sentenced him at first instance.

"I will be in political trial myself"

Jean-Luc Mélenchon drew a parallel between the Lula case and his own setbacks: he must be judged on 19 and 20 September in correctional law, along with five of his relatives, after a tumultuous search at the headquarters of the BIA in October 2018.

Lula is "sentenced for indeterminate acts," he said. "There is no limit to the use of justice in political trials. Even Stalin was doing better, he was trying to get confessions. There is not even there.

"We are determined not to let ourselves, each in our country, to unite, to link our groups of lawyers (…) to help us (…) in the political trials that we suffer" added the deputy from Bouches-du-Rhône.

"I will be myself in political trial at the end of September," added the unsubmitted, "it will be a very sad moment for my country because there was no political trial in France since the period of the Algerian war". "It's the same method (that Lula's conviction), maybe it will not be the same conclusions, I do not know", but "the same incriminations without evidence and violations of the rights of the defense" .

Lula blamed in several cases

Judge Moro, who sentenced Lula – now Minister of Justice Jair Bolsonaro- is "a politically corrupt personality, ready for anything, including dirtying the justice of his country to complete a political trial", accused Jean-Luc Mélenchon. "Nobody believes that Lula can be corrupted. Everyone knows he is in prison for (…) a political reason that allowed Mr. Bolsonaro to be elected, "he insisted.

The Brazilian Supreme Court will soon be considering a request for Lula's release based on the alleged bias of Sergio Moro but also on procedural issues.

However, Lula could also be sentenced in a second corruption case, among the half-dozen cases in which he is accused.

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