Ex-Brazil president gets term in prison
RIO DE JANEIRO — Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was convicted Wednesday of corruption and money laundering, the most high-profile conviction yet in a wide-ranging graft investigation.
Federal Judge Sergio Moro sentenced Silva to 9½ years in prison, but the former leader will remain free while an appeal is heard.
The decision was widely expected, even by Silva’s defense team.
In many quarters in Brazil, Silva remains popular, and he is considered a front-runner in next year’s presidential elections.
The case is part of a corruption investigation that has led to the conviction of dozens of business executives and politicians.
Silva was accused of receiving a beachfront apartment and repairs to the property as kickbacks from the construction company OAS. Prosecutors said OAS also paid to store Silva’s belongings, but Moro dismissed that part of the case.
The former president has said the charges are unfounded.
The case will now be heard by a group of magistrates. Under Brazilian law, Silva will be barred from seeking office if the conviction is upheld.
Demonstrators celebrate the decision by Judge Sergio Moro to convict former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.