The Latest: Brazil owns Twitter as da Silva appeal unfolds

AP News
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Posted: Jan 24, 2018 12:41 PM
The Latest: Brazil owns Twitter as da Silva appeal unfolds

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — The latest on the appeal of a graft conviction against former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Brazil is taking over Twitter, with much of this nation of more than 200 million fixated on the judges who are ruling whether to uphold or throw out a corruption conviction against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

As the appeals decision was broadcast live Wednesday, three of the top 10 topics trending worldwide on Twitter were about the case. The top trending topic was the hashtag "MoluscoNaCadeia," or "MolluskInJail." That's a play on the fact that da Silva is universally known as "Lula," which is a common nickname for Luiz but also means squid.

At No. 5 on the worldwide trending list was "CadeAProva," or "WhereIsTheProof," reflecting how the case has split this social media-mad country.

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2:10 p.m.

An appellate court judge is voting to increase the jail time for a graft conviction against former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Judge Joao Pedro Gebran Neto is the first of three appellate court judges to rule on a case that could impact the presidential elections and even stability in Latin America's largest nation.

After hearing arguments from both the prosecution and defense, Gebran Neto said da Silva's jail time should be 12 years and one month. That is an increase of more than two years over the sentence leveled in July.

If at least two of the three judges assigned to review the case uphold the conviction, da Silva could be barred from running in elections later this year.

Despite myriad legal troubles the 72-year-old leads polls for October's race.