An appeal court in Brazil has unanimously rejected the final procedural objections by former President Luiz Inancio Lula da Silva against his corruption conviction.
The decision, handed down on Monday, raises the possibility that the former, leftist president could face prison time.
“I don’t respect the decision because if I respected the decision of a liar, my granddaughter, when she grows up, would feel ashamed that her grandfather was a coward,” he said, during a Facebook broadcast of an event held after the court’s ruling.
Lula will avoid jail time until at least April 4, when the Supreme Federal Court is scheduled to decide whether to accept his request to exhaust all legal options.
Lula was convicted of corruption in an investigation that has been called Car Wash. He says the charges are part of a political witch-hunt to keep him from running for president.
The conviction carries a 12-year prison sentence and bars him from running for president.
However, polls suggest that if Lula is allowed to run, he would easily win in October.
In January, Brazilian courts extended Lula’s conviction from nine and a half years to 12 years and a month.
Lula has been holding campaign rallies throughout Brazil in a bid to up his popularity, which took a hit after a number of corruption scandals.
The former president also faces six other corruption cases.