Brazilian Prosecution Brings New Corruption Charges Against Ex-President Lula, Brother

Brazilian Prosecution Brings New Corruption Charges Against Ex-President Lula, Brother

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 10th September, 2019) The Brazilian Prosecutor's Office has brought new charges of passive corruption against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his brother, Frei Chico, within Petrobras-linked corruption case.

"A group of the Lava Jato [Car Wash] operation accused ex-president Lula and his brother, Frei Chico, of continued passive corruption," the prosecution said in a statement.

According to the prosecution, from 2003 to 2015 Chico received payments from Odebrecht construction company, one of the main contractors of the Brazilian Petrobras energy giant, at the amount of over $274 million. These payments were offered to Lula in exchange for various benefits for Odebrecht, the prosecution said. Lula's defense rejected the new accusations.

Petrobras has been in a spate of corruption scandals since 2014, when it was revealed that businesses paid more than $2 billion in bribes to sign contracts with the oil company and obtain projects which later increased in cost.

The scandal triggered a large-scale inquiry and public discontent.

In 2017, Lula, who was in office between 2003 and 2010, was found guilty of receiving a luxury three-story beachfront apartment from Brazilian OAS construction company in exchange for assisting OAS in getting beneficial contracts from Petrobras.

He was initially sentenced to 9.5 years in prison. After the court denied Lula's appeal in 2018, the former president's prison term was extended to 12 years and one month. In late April, Brazil's court reduced Lula's prison term to eight years and 10 months, with the possibility of being moved to house arrest later this year.

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