BRASÍLIA (AFP) – Former Brazil president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was convicted and sentenced on Wednesday to nine and a half years in prison for corruption and money laundering.The term was handed down against Lula over a giant embezzlement and kickbacks scheme centered on state-owned oil group Petrobras, at the heart of a sprawling corruption probe known as “Car Wash.”
The judge hearing the case said Lula — an iconic leftist politician who ruled Brazil from 2003-2010 — remained free pending a possible appeal, according to the verdict seen by AFP.
With Brazil in the grip of prolonged political and economic uncertainty, the sentence risked scuttling a potential comeback bid by Lula in the next elections due in October 2018.
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