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Brazil’s ex-president defies order to turn self in

SAO BERNARDO DO CAMPO, Brazil — Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva defied an order to turn himself in to police on Friday as he hunkered down with supporters at a metallurgical union that was the spiritual birthplace of his rise to power.

The once wildly popular leader, who rose from poverty to the nation, faced a Friday evening deadline to present himself to police in Curitiba to begin serving a sentence of 12 years and one month for a corruption conviction.

However, da Silva remained inside the union.

Federal Judge Sergio Moro, seen by many in Brazil as a crusader against endemic graft, ordered da Silva to surrender to police in Curitiba, about 260 miles southwest of the Sao Paulo suburb of Sao Bernardo do Campo.

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Sources close to da Silva said the former leader would not go to Curitiba, but instead was considering either waiting for police at the union or presenting himself in Sao Paulo.

Forcing da Silva out of the union building on a Friday night posed difficulties, given the thousands of supporters outside and heavy traffic.

ASSOCIATED PRESS