Former Brazilian president Lula da Silva was convicted [ruling, PDF, in Portuguese] Wednesday of corruption and money laundering and sentenced to almost 10 years in prison. Lula da Silva, who was president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, was charged with obtaining USD $1.1 million from a construction company in improvements and expenses for an apartment in exchange for getting the construction company contracts with the state-controlled oil company. He can still appeal his conviction and will not be arrested until he has exhausted his appeal. He had previously announced intentions to run for president next year for the Workers’ Party. However, if his appeal fails, Lula da Silva, who is currently 71, will be ineligible to run for office for 19 years.
Brazil has seen a significant amount of corruption charges throughout various levels of government in recent years. The current Brazilian president, Michel Temer, was accused [JURIST report] of accepting bribes in June. Former president Dilma Rousseff was impeached for corruption [JURIST op-ed] last year amidst a time of economic turmoil. In April Brazil’s Supreme Court [official website] ordered investigations [JURIST report] into eight cabinet ministers and dozen of lawmakers who are allegedly linked to the country’s so-called “car wash” bribery scheme. In March, Brazil’s top prosecutor asked Brazil’s Supreme Court to open 83 more investigations [JURIST Report] into politicians.