Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gets additional 13 year sentence

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (File Photo IANS)

Brasilia, Feb 7. Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula
da Silva was sentenced to nearly 13 additional years in prison on corruption
and money laundering charges, judicial sources said.

Lula, who served as President from 2003 to 2010, is
currently serving a sentence of 12 years and one month on charges of accepting
a luxury beachfront apartment from a construction firm in exchange for
government building contracts, Xinhua news agency reported.

Wednesday’s sentence, which lasts for 12 years and 11
months, also stems from a property deal and renovation project which
prosecutors claim was actually a bribe.

According to the new charges, construction companies spent
hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating a hacienda or apartment that Lula
and his family often used for getaways.

In exchange, the government turned a blind eye to fraud and
corruption schemes by the companies, which were involved in a corruption
scandal centred on state oil giant, Petrobras.

Lula, 73, was initially sentenced to nine years and six
months in 2017 for the luxury triplex.

He has denied all the charges, alleging that they were
politically motivated to keep him from running again for office.

With Lula behind bars, Brazil’s left-leaning Workers’ Party
was forced to name a substitute candidate in the 2018 presidential elections,
who was handily defeated in October by conservative Jair Bolsonaro, who
took office on January 1.

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