Prosecutors in Brazil’s sprawling ‘Lava Jato‘ (“Car Wash”) corruption investigation on Monday charged former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with money-laundering, less than a year after the country’s top court ordered him freed from jail while he appealed his conviction in another case.
Prosecutors said the left-leaning ex-leader who governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010 received bribes from construction giant Odebrecht disguised as donations to the institute that carries his name. They allege he illegally received the funds in Instituto Lula accounts between December 2013 and March 2014 in exchange for granting contracts with state-run oil company Petrobras.
Attorneys for the ex-president known as Lula said they were surprised by the charges and that prosecutors have no evidence to back them. Da Silva has repeatedly claimed his innocence and accused prosecutors in the Lava Jato probe of politically persecuting him.
The original full article can be found at batimes.com.ar
(Photo: AP/LEO CORREA)