HAVANA TIMES – Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva faces a new charge of money laundering. It comes as part of the investigations into the largest corruption scandal in Latin America.
Lula, is accused of accepting 4 million reais (759,000 dollars) worth of bribes disguised as donations. The new accusation came Monday ina a statement from prosecutors in the Brazilian state of Curitiba.
Prosecutors say four transfers were made to the “Instituto Lula” from construction giant Odebrecht between 2013 and 2014.
Lula’s defense rejected the charge as an attempt to criminalize “four legitimate donations.”
This is the fourth charge Lula faces in the so-called “Lava Jato” or “Car Wash” corruption investigations. After a previous conviction he was jailed but allowed to leave prison early in November 2019.
Lula’s conviction and imprisonment prevented him from contesting the October 2018 presidential election. It paved the way for the victory of Jair Bolsonaro, who appointed Lava Jato judge Sergio Moro his justice minister.
A working-class president, Lula oversaw strong economic growth and falling inequality during his 2003-2011 rule. His social policies earned him soaring popularity ratings, even as concern grew about corruption in his government.