São Bernardo do Campo (Brazil) (AFP) – Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is negotiating his surrender after dramatically skipping a first deadline Friday to start his 12-year prison sentence for corruption, a close ally said.
The 72-year-old had been ordered to surrender voluntarily by 5:00 pm (2000 GMT).
However, he let the deadline pass, remaining holed up with thousands of supporters in the metalworkers’ union building in his hometown of Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo.
Politicians from Lula’s Workers’ Party said he would remain in Sao Bernardo do Campo overnight and that his lawyers were in close negotiations with police over the time and place of the arrest.
“There is a discussion between police and the ex-president’s lawyers and the party is following this. The idea is to avoid the judge ordering preventative arrest, which would aggravate the situation,” said Congressman Carlos Zarattini.
“Nothing is over yet.”
Senator Gleisi Hoffmann tweeted that a Catholic Mass would take place at the union building early Saturday in memory of Lula’s late wife Marisa Leticia, who died last year and would now be turning 68.
According to varying Brazilian media reports, Lula was considering surrendering after the Mass or possibly holding out through the weekend.