efe-epaSao Paulo

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday walked out of the prison cell in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba where he had been held since April 2018, after a Supreme Court ruling the day before had paved the way for his release.

Lula's defense team on Friday morning had requested that he be freed after the high court - in a 6-5 decision on Thursday night - ruled that defendants convicted of crimes cannot be imprisoned until they have exhausted all of their appeals. Lula is one of some 5,000 inmates who could benefit from the high court's decision.