>> Brazil's supreme court has rejected a plea from former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to avoid jail. The decision early on thursday damages his chances of running for president this year, and can see him behind bars within a week. Lula had asked to stay out of prison while he appeals a corruption conviction, he was found guilty in August of accepting bribes worth more than one million dollars.
And handed 10 years in jail. In January an appeals court upheld that sentence and increased the prison term to 12 years. But despite the conviction and six separate pending corruption trials, Brazil's first working class president remains its most popular politician.>>
We are on Lula's side today, protesting in the street and fighting for democracy.>> The country remains deeply divided after Lula's successor, Dilma Roussef, was impeached and removed from office amid a corruption scandal and economic crisis.>> Lula is the front runner in opinion polls for the presidential election in October, even though his conviction means it's unlikely he'll be able to run.