Brazilian court upholds Silva's graft conviction

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2018 08:10 IST

Porto Alegre [Brazil], Jan 25 (ANI): A Brazilian court upheld the conviction of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for corruption and money laundering here on Wednesday, that has further dented his chances of running for the third term in the upcoming elections in October this year.

The Guardian reported that the three judges at the appeals court in Porto Alegre voted unanimously on Wednesday to uphold the sentence of Silva and increased the penalty from nine and a half years to 12 years and one month.

The latest court decision means that he could be constitutionally barred from standing in the presidential elections.

The ruling led to violent protests across the country. Protesters in Porto Alegre clashed with police and set fire to tyres and blocked streets leading to the court.

Silva has maintained that he is innocent and has not denied any wrongdoing. His supporters have called it an 'attack on democracy' and a 'political script' to stop him from contesting the elections.

Silva served two terms as the president from 2003-2010. He also helped his ruling Workers' Party successor Dilma Rousseff win the next two elections before she was unceremoniously impeached from the post for breaking budget rules in 2016.

The Brazilian president was found guilty of receiving a seaside duplex apartment offer worth about 540,000 pounds from a Brazilian construction company called OAS. He was convicted in July last year of corruption and money laundering as part of Brazil's massive graft investigation.

Prosecutors reiterated in the court that the offer was a part of a multibillion-dollar bribe scheme controlled by the Silva at Petrobras, a state-run oil company.

However, Silva's lawyers argued that he neither accepted any offer nor owned the apartment will appeal against the decision in the country's highest court soon.

Political observers in Brazil have time and again mentioned that there should a leader, who should be 'dynamic, clean and canny'. The leader should also save Brazil's already drowning economy with 'long-term and corruption-free economic reforms', which had been in a recession period for three years between 2013 and 2016. (ANI)