Ex-Brazil­ian Pres­i­dent Silva con­victed of cor­rup­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

RIO DE JANEIRO — For­mer Brazil­ian Pres­i­dent Luiz Ina­cio Lula da Silva was con­victed of cor­rup­tion and money laun­der­ing on Wed­nes­day and sen­tenced to nine and a half years in jail.

Silva will re­main free while an ap­peal is heard. Silva was ac­cused of re­ceiv­ing a beach­front apart­ment as a kick­back from con­struc­tion com­pany OAS. Pros­e­cu­tors also al­leged OAS did re­pairs to the apart­ment and paid to store Silva’s be­long­ings. The for­mer pres­i­dent has said the charges are com­pletely un­founded.

The case is part of a mas­sive cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion that has roiled Brazil­ian pol­i­tics that has seen busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives and elite politi­cians jailed.

“The present con­vic­tion does not bring this judge any per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion. Quite the con­trary, it is re­gret­table that a for­mer pres­i­dent be crim­i­nally con­victed,” fed­eral Judge Ser­gio Moro wrote in his de­ci­sion. “It doesn’t mat­ter how high you are, the law is still above you.” Silva, who was pres­i­dent be­tween 2003 and 2010, is lead­ing polls for next year’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

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