“No prison for Lula. Down with the coup.” Trade unions and movements are mobilizing in Brazil, after the first instance ruling that sentenced former President Lula da Silva to nine years and six months in prison and forbade him from public office.
His conviction for corruption and money laundering in the Brazilian corruption scandal Lava Jato was an unprecedented decision. It’s the first time in Brazil’s history that a former president is sentenced to prison for corruption.
Lula was accused of receiving bribes from the developer OAS, specifically an apartment on the Brazilian coast, through the state oil company Petrobras. The former metalworker has always denied any wrongdoing and his lawyers have provided extensive exculpatory evidence. However, according to Judge Sérgio Moro’s theory, Lula pulled the strings of the entire operation, diverting about $30 million from Petrobras. The centerpiece of the prosecution’s case — for which they did not present direct evidence — are the statements of informants. Lula’s legal team and the opposition left have repeatedly denounced the political use of these statements.