Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks to supporters as his girlfriend Rosangela da Silva leans on his back…
With girlfriend Rosangela da Silva, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks to backers after his release from Federal Police headquarters, where he was imprisoned on corruption charges, in Curitiba, Brazil, Nov. 8, 2019.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva walked out of prison Friday, a day after a Supreme Court ruling allowed for his release. 
Hundreds of supporters of the former leftist leader gathered outside the Curitiba prison to greet da Silva, who had been serving time for corruption. 
Da Silva, who is widely known as Lula, tweeted earlier Friday, "Lula Free,'' along with a video of himself working out. 
His release followed a Supreme Court ruling late Thursday that a defendant can be imprisoned only after all appeals to higher courts have been exhausted. Da Silva is still appealing the case that has left him detained since April 2018. 
The former president received a sentence of nearly nine years for a bribery conviction and is one of many high-profile convicts in the  "Car Wash" investigation of public corruption. Da Silva denies any wrongdoing and has said the case against him was politically motivated. 
Da Silva could still end up back in prison if he exhausts all his appeals. 
The former president, who led the country from 2003 to 2010, had been favored to win the 2018 presidential election, but his conviction prevented him from running. 

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The leftist ex-president led the country during an economic boom, and his Bolsa Familia welfare program helped lift millions from poverty and contributed to his 80% approval rating when he left office. 
His supporters have criticized the fact that Sergio Moro, the judge who oversaw the Car Wash probe and convicted da Silva, accepted the position of justice minister in the administration of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a longtime political rival of da Silva. 
Moro said Friday that the Supreme Court's decision must be respected, but he also said that Congress could modify the Constitution to allow convicts to be jailed after their first appeal. 

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