Brazil's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that judge Sergio Moro was "biased" in convicting ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of corruption in 2017, a new victory for the left-wing leader as he eyes a political comeback.
The 3-2 ruling came two weeks after one of the court's justices annulled Lula's corruption convictions, clearing the way for him to mount a potential run against far-right President Jair Bolsonaro next year.
Lula, 75, led Brazil through an economic boom from 2003 through 2010, and remains one of its most popular politicians – though his image was badly tarnished when he was sentenced to a total of 26 years on charges of taking bribes.
The cases against him grew out of "Operação Lava Jato," (or 'Operation Car Wash') a sweeping anti-corruption investigation that felled a Who's Who of top politicians and business executives accused of conspiring to embezzle billions of dollars from state oil company Petrobras.
The ruling is a major blow for Moro, who spearheaded the investigation.
Lula and his supporters accuse the judge of conspiring to keep the steelworker-turned-president out of the running for the 2018 presidential elections, in which he was the frontrunner.
Moro went on to accept the post of justice minister when Bolsonaro won the election in the ensuing fallout – a fact some of the justices cited in ruling him biased.