Brazil's Lula States he will turn himself in

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He says he will give himself up despite saying he is innocent of the corruption charges of which he was convicted.

Lula was the frontrunner for October's presidential election but his jailing will leave the race wide open.

The former leader is the latest of many high-profile people to be ensnared in possibly the largest corruption scandal in Latin American history. He was the first left-wing leader to make it to the Brazilian presidency in almost half a century.

Finally emerging Saturday, wearing a dark blue T-shirt and looking confident, Lula waved to the crowd and made the sign of the cross on a platform where he stood next to several priests.

"I'm the only person being prosecuted over an apartment that isn't mine", insisted Lula, standing on a truck-pulled platform alongside his impeached successor Dilma Rousseff and leaders of other left-wing parties.

"I will comply with the order and all of you will become Lula", he told the crowd in Sao Bernardo do Campo. "I'm not above the law".

Universally known as Lula, Lula da Silva is a founding member of Brazil's only socialist political party, Partido dos Trabalhadores, the Workers' Party. "I would have started a revolution".

After the speech, Lula was lifted onto the shoulders of supporters who chanted, "I am Lula".

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"Surround, surround (the building) and don't let them arrest him", chanted supporters.

What was Lula convicted of?

In an order issued on Thursday, federal judge Sergio Moro said Lula had to present himself before 17:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Friday at the federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba.

Lula said he wanted to go to prison and had rejected multiple suggestions of fleeing or seeking asylum overseas.

The popular ex-president consistently led the list of potential candidates in the fall elections, despite accusations that he accepted perks from a major company later given juicy government construction contracts, including the use of a luxury beachside apartment.

The lawyer, who is not part of Lula's defense team, also asked that the former president remains free until the STF discusses the ADCs mentioned by Weber.

The police said they would not act during the night to seize Mr Lula as negotiations proceeded on a suitable way to end the standoff.

Lula served as president from 2003-2011.

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While he was in office, Brazil experienced its longest period of economic growth in three decades, allowing his administration to spend lavishly on social programmes. "Their obsession is to get a photo of Lula as a prisoner".

Lula da Silva left office with a 90% approval rating but was questioned by police about the corruption allegations in March 2016.

The former president could appeal his case to the Superior Court or the Supreme Court of Brazil, but they could take months or years to rule on his case.

The two courts did not re-examine Lula's conviction, only whether legal procedures were followed correctly and his constitutional rights were observed.

Federal police in Sao Paulo declined to say if they would attempt to forcibly take the former president into custody, a move that could trigger intense clashes with his supporters.

He would not be handcuffed if he came quietly, the judge promised. In August, the country's top electoral court makes final decisions about candidacies.

Ever since Wednesday, Mr da Silva and his supporters have tried everything to delay the start of his prison sentence, battling everywhere from the supreme court to the streets. That conviction was upheld by an appeals court in January.

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