Former Brazilian president Lula jailed for corruption
Nine and a half year sentence for former leade for accepting bribes worth €1 million
Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva File photograph: Paulo Fonseca/EPA
Former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was convicted on corruption charges on Wednesday in the first of five trials he faces.
He was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison. Lula, who rose from childhood poverty to become a two-term president, will remain free on appeal.
The ruling marked a stunning fall for Lula, Brazil’s first working-class president who left office six years ago with an 83 per cent approval rating.
The former union leader won global admiration for transformative social policies that helped reduce stinging inequality in Latin America’s biggest country.
Former US president Barack Obama once labeled him the most popular politician on earth.
The verdict represented the highest-profile conviction yet in the sweeping corruption investigation that for over three years has rattled Brazil, revealing a sprawling system of corruption at top levels of business and government and throwing the country’s political system into disarray.
Judge Sergio Moro found Lula guilty of accepting 3.7 million reals (€1 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.