The former president of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has on Wednesday been convicted of corruption charges and sentenced nearly to 10 years in prison.

He`s however facing four more corruption trials and will remain free on appeal.

Judge Sergio Moro found Lula, 71, guilty of accepting $1.2 million worth of bribes from engineering firm OAS SA, the amount of money prosecutors said the company spent refurbishing a beach apartment for Lula in return for his help winning contracts with state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro (PETR4.SA).

Federal prosecutors have accused Lula, Brazil’s first working-class president from 2003 to 2011, of masterminding a long-running corruption scheme that was uncovered in a probe into kickbacks around Petrobras.

The verdict represented the highest-profile conviction in Brazil.

Lula’s legal team said in an emailed statement that he was innocent and they would appeal.

“For three years, Lula has been subject to a politically motivated investigation, “they wrote.

“No credible evidence of guilt has been produced, and overwhelming proof of his innocence blatantly ignored.”

 

 

ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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