Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been convicted for a second time on charges of corruption and money laundering and sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison.
Lula was on Wednesday found guilty by a court in the southern city of Curitiba of accepting renovation work by two construction companies on a farmhouse in exchange for ensuring they won contracts with the state-run oil company Petrobras.
He was given a sentence of 12 years and 11 months by the court in the
Southern city of Curitiba.
Last April, Lula began serving a sentence of 12 years and 11 months after being convicted on the same charges involving renovations at a beach-front apartment paid for by construction companies.
A legal expert, Thiago Bottino do Amaral of the Getulio Vargas Foundation said under Brazilian law, prison terms can be served one after the other as long as the total time behind bars does not exceed 30 years..
The 73-year-old, who ruled Brazil between 2003 and 2010, has denied all the charges against him, claiming they were politically motivated with the aim of preventing him from competing in the election last year that was won by current far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
Defending himself in the latest case, he said the farmhouse did not belong to me and its title was in the name of one of my friends, Fernando Bittar..
But the Curitiba judge, Gabriela Hardt, was not persuaded and noted that the family of ex-president Lula very often frequented the farm as if he was the owner..
Lula is the most high-profile of several political and corporate
figures to be brought down by the probe.
Source: Voice of Nigeria