Brasilia, Feb 7 (IANS) Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sentenced to nearly 13 additional years in prison on corruption and money laundering charges, judicial sources said.
Lula, who served as President from 2003 to 2010, is currently serving a sentence of 12 years and one month on charges of accepting a luxury beachfront apartment from a construction firm in exchange for government building contracts, Xinhua news agency reported.
Wednesday’s sentence, which lasts for 12 years and 11 months, also stems from a property deal and renovation project which prosecutors claim was actually a bribe.
According to the new charges, construction companies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating a hacienda or apartment that Lula and his family often used for getaways.
In exchange, the government turned a blind eye to fraud and corruption schemes by the companies, which were involved in a corruption scandal centred on state oil giant, Petrobras.
Lula, 73, was initially sentenced to nine years and six months in 2017 for the luxury triplex.
He has denied all the charges, alleging that they were politically motivated to keep him from running again for office.
With Lula behind bars, Brazil’s left-leaning Workers’ Party was forced to name a substitute candidate in the 2018 presidential elections, who was handily defeated in October by conservative Jair Bolsonaro, who took office on January 1.