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Brazil hands nearly 10-year jail-term to ex-president

Jul 13, 2017, 7:25 AM EDT
Lula has denied all charges calling the investigation politically motivated.
(Source: Alexander Bonilla'flickr)

Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for his involvement in a massive corruption linked to state-run oil company Petrobras. Lula’s lawyers said they will appeal against the verdict, which they described as “politically motivated” and based on “no credible evidence.”

Lula’s sentencing once again polarized the political debate, with his supporters viewing the development as a political witch-hunt designed to prevent the leader’s comeback in elections next year while for others, the conviction means justice served, writes the BBC.

A sweeping three-year-long corruption investigation, named Operation Car Wash, has exposed political patronage to a thriving net of graft in Brazil’s government institutions and businesses, notes Reuters.