Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been sentenced to 9 years and 6 months in prison over Corruption.
In the first of five trials, judge Sergio Moro found Lula guilty of accepting 3.7 million reais (£890,000) 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.
A massive clampdown on corruption is ongoing in Brazil, with judges handing out to business elites and politicians jail time if found guilty.
“The present conviction does not bring this judge any personal satisfaction. Quite the contrary, it is regrettable that a former president be criminally convicted. It doesn’t matter how high you are, the law is still above you,” Judge Sergio Moro, who handed out the sentence, wrote in his decision.
According to Guardian, Lula’s lawyers, Cristiano Martins and Valeska Martins, attacked the sentence in a statement:
“President Lula is innocent. For over three years, Lula has been subject to a politically motivated investigation. No credible evidence of guilt has been produced, and overwhelming proof of his innocence blatantly ignored. We will prove Lula’s innocence in all unbiased courts including the United Nations.”