Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former Brazilian President appeared in court on Wednesday due to allegations of his accepting of bribes. Elected in 2002, 71- year old Lula da Silva served from 2003 to 2011.
This July, Lula was sentenced to nine and a half years of prison for accepting other bribes from OAS, an engineering firm. However, Lula is not yet being imprisoned as he appeals against the sentence. In Brazil, prison sentences are only set in action after a conviction is confirmed via a second verdict. Altogether, Lula is charged in a total of 5 corruption cases, including what has recently arisen.
Now, he is suspected of accepting bribes from Odebrecht, a Brazilian constriction giant. Furthermore, Odebrecht is now confirmed to have illegally influenced political campaigns, the building of major construction projects, etc. In countries throughout Latin America, Odebrecht employees connected with people in power, funding campaigns in exchange for building contracts.
The company apparently bought the land for da Silva’s “Instituto Lula,” his nonprofit organization, and his nearby residence. Lula, wanting to run for president again in 2018, claims that these charges against him are to prevent him from running for office. He has stated that he is currently the victim of a “witch hunt” and says that the trial is only being motivated by politics.
Results from polls predict that Lula would hypothetically be the front runner for the upcoming elections. Judge Sergio Moro questioned Lula in Curitiba, in Southern Brazil. Due to the massive support for Lula, buses of his supported traveled to Curitiba as well. Wearing red, they appeared to support him outside the courthouse on the day of the trial.