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Brazil’s Lula to stand trial for corruption

Update: September, 21/2016 - 11:40

BRASÍLIABrazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva must stand trial for corruption, a judge ruled on Tuesday, after prosecutors accused the popular leftist of masterminding the large-scale plundering of state oil company Petrobras.

The crusading judge behind the Petrobras investigation, Sergio Moro, accepted charges filed last week by prosecutors investigating Lulamaking him the highest-profile figure to face trial in a case that has taken down some of the country’s most powerful business executives and politicians.

"Given that there is sufficient evidence of (Lula’s) responsibility... I accept the charges," Moro said in his decision.

The charges allege that Lula, 70, received the equivalent of 3.7 million reais ($1.1 million) in bribes.

Among the accusations are charges that the former union leader and his wife received a beachside apartment and upgrades to the property from a major construction company, OAS, which was one of the players in the Petrobras scheme.

More broadly, prosecutors last week singled out Lulawho was president during much of the time that Petrobras was being fleeced of billions of dollar–as the scheme’s "supreme commander".

"I am sad because I just learned (Judge) Moro accepted the charge lodged, even though it is all a farce, a huge lie," the ex-president said from Brazil by videoconference to New York where his lawyers held a solidarity event for him. – AFP





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