Thursday, April 22, 2021

Brazil Former President Lula da Silva faces new corruption charges

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Brazil’s federal police indicted former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday for another case of corruption, reports AP.

The case involves donations made by construction company Odebrecht to the Lula Institute the former president founded after he left office.

According to the federal police, the donations to the institute, which were made between December 2013 and March 2014 and amounted to 4 million reals (1 million US dollars), originated from an Odebrecht account habitually used to pay bribes.

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Lula, the Lula Institute’s head Paulo Okamoto, and former Finance Minister Antonio Palocci were charged with corruption and money laundering.

Lula’s defense lawyers said that the accusations do not make any sense, as the supposed bribes were paid when Lula had not been in office for years.

Lula’s last term ended in 2010.

Lula’s attorneys said the donations were normal and regular, with an identified origin and not related to any commitment. They also stressed that the donations were made not to Lula, but the institute, which is an organization separate from the ex-president and aims at preserving objects which are part of Brazil’s cultural heritage.

Lula was found guilty of corruption in other cases and started serving a sentence since April 2018. However, he was released earlier in November this year after Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court (STF) ruled that defendants in Brazil will only be arrested after their last appeal is settled.

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Lula currently still has appeals to the Superior Court of Justice and STF to be judged.

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