Brazil’s Lula sentenced to nearly 13 years in new corruption case
February 7, 2019 03:00 PM NPT
Photo Courtesy: Agencies
BRAZIL, Feb 7: A Brazilian court Wednesday handed a near 13-year sentence to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in a new corruption conviction for the former leftist president already serving a lengthy jail term in a separate case.
Lula, 73, was 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.
A legal expert, Thiago Bottino do Amaral of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, told AFP that, 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 investigation uncovered a vast graft operation involving Petrobras and major construction companies and bribes to politicians of several parties.
Lula is the most high-profile of several political and corporate figures to be brought down by the probe. Moro handed him his first prison sentence after finding the ex-president guilty of accepting a luxury seaside apartment as a bribe by a construction company, also in exchange for contracts with Petrobras.
Hardt took over "Car Wash" at the end of last year when Moro accepted his new post under Bolsonaro, who vowed to eradicate graft as part of a hard line on crime.
Bolsonaro has said he hopes Lula "rots in prison." On Wednesday, the president tweeted a news headline of Lula's new conviction and sentence without comment.
The head of Lula's Workers Party, Gleisi Hoffmann, tweeted that "the persecution of Lula continues."
Last week, Lula asked for permission to leave prison to attend the funeral of his brother, but the authorisation arrived too late, only after the burial.
"They didn't let me say goodbye to Vava out of pure cruelty. All I can do is stay here and cry," Lula said at the time.