Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva leads the election polls but could now go to prison after being denied request that he be freed while appealing conviction

Brazil’s supreme court has rejected the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s plea to avoid prison while he appeals a corruption conviction, in a move that likely ends his political career and deepens divisions in the country.

The pivotal vote was cast by Justice Rosa Weber against Lula’s request to avoid jail and begin serving his 12-year sentence for accepting bribes. Weber was seen as the only swing vote and her decision sealed Lula’s fate. He may be jailed within a week.

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Read More Brazil former president Lula faces jail for corruption after supreme court ruling

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