CONFLICTS

Brazil's top court frees politico appealing corruption case

Brazil's Supreme Court has ordered the release of a former presidential chief-of-staff convicted in a major corruption investigation.

Tuesday night's decision raises the possibility that other prominent figures convicted in the so-called Car Wash investigation could be freed while appealing sentences.

The court ruled 3-2 that former chief-of-staff Jose Dirceu should be released, and only sent back to prison if the full court upholds his conviction. No date is set for his appeal.

The Supreme Court ordered the judge who sentenced Dirceu, adopt alternatives to jail, such as electronic brace for monitoring. Justices said there's little chance he could interfere in the current investigations.

Dirceu was convicted and sentenced to 31 years for corruption, money-laundering and association with a criminal organization. He has been in prison since 2015.