A Brazilian court will rule next week on former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's appeal of his conviction and prison sentence on corruption charges, it said Wednesday.
If the three-judge Regional Federal Court in Porto Alegre, Brazil rejects Lula's appeal on Monday, it could result in his immediate incarceration. He has been sentenced to 12 years and a month in prison.
But the country's top court -- the Supreme Federal Court -- will on Thursday decide whether Lula can remain free on appeal, and a favorable decision would keep him out of jail even if the lower court rules against him.
Lula was found guilty in July 2017 of receiving a luxury seaside apartment as a bribe from a Brazilian construction company in return for contracts with state oil giant Petrobras.
The leftist leader insists he is innocent of the charges and that he is the victim of a campaign to prevent him from running for the presidency in October, a race in which he is currently the frontrunner.
Lula, 72, who was president from 2003 to 2011, has been on a national tour to rally supporters.