Former Brazilian President Lula Found Guilty of Corruption

Thursday, 13 July, 2017 - 14:42

Former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was a two-term president, convicted on corruption charges on Wednesday in the first of five graft trials he faces.

He was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison. He will remain free on appeal.

Judge Sergio Moro found Lula guilty of accepting 3.7 million reais ($1.2 million) worth of bribes from engineering firm OAS SA, the amount prosecutors said the company spent refurbishing a beach apartment for Lula in return for his help winning contracts with state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro.

Federal prosecutors have accused Lula, who first took the presidency in 2003, of masterminding a long-running corruption scheme that was uncovered in a probe into kickbacks around Petrobras.

Lula's legal team has previously said they would appeal any guilty ruling. They have continuously blasted the trial as a partisan witchhunt, accusing Moro of being biased and out to get Lula for political reasons.

Moro has denied the accusations.