Brazil’s federal court has sentenced Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a former Brazilian president to nine and a half years in jail for corruption and money laundering, Independent UK reports.
However, while an appeal is being heard, the former president will remain free. Justice Sergio Moro found the former president guilty of accepting 3.7 million reais (1.2 million dollars) worth of bribes from an engineering firm, OAS SA.
According to federal prosecutors, the firm used the money to renovate an apartment for Lula, in appreciation for helping them win contracts with Petroleo Brasileiro, the state-owned oil company.
In recent times, Brazilian politics has been engulfed in a massive corruption investigation which has led to the jailing of various elite politicians and business executives; and Lula’s case is part of the investigation.
However, the former president claims he is innocent. In his ruling, the judge stated: “The present conviction does not bring this judge any personal satisfaction.
“Quite the contrary, it is regrettable that a former president be criminally convicted. “It doesn’t matter how high you are, the law is still above you.” Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was president between 2003 and 2010.
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