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Former Brazilian President Gets 10 Years In Prison For Corruption

This is the first of five charges against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and could bar him from running in the next election.
Posted at 5:57 PM, Jul 12, 2017

One of Brazil's most influential and popular politicians was just convicted and sentenced to almost 10 years in prison for corruption.

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, aka "Lula," had been accused of accepting bribes worth more than a million dollars from a privately owned conglomerate in exchange for pricey contracts with Brazil's state-owned oil company.

Lula served two terms and left office at the start of 2011 with an approval rating of more than 80 percent.

Calling the trial a witch hunt, Lula's lawyers say the charges are politically motivated. Reports say he was gearing up for a presidential run next year. A guilty verdict bars him from that.

His lawyers said they would appeal any guilty verdict, but this is the first of five corruption charges Lula faces. An appeal ruling alone could take at least eight months.