Lula da Silva was sentenced, on Wednesday July 12th, to 9 years and 6 months in prison for the crimes of corruption and money laundering. The landmark decision marks the first conviction of the former president who also faces five other corruption charges.
The verdict represented the highest-profile conviction yet in the sweeping corruption investigation that for over three years has rattled Brazil, revealing a sprawling system of graft at top levels of business and government and throwing the country’s political system into disarray.
The sentence handed down by Judge Sergio Moro is the first against Lula within the scope of the so-called Operation Car Wash in the case involving the triplex apartment in Guaruja in the State of Sao Paulo.
The former president will not be placed under arrest yet. He will remain free on appeal. Prosecutors also alleged OAS did repairs to the apartment and paid to store Silva’s belongings. The former president has said the charges are completely unfounded.
In sentencing, the Judge declared that the immediate imprisonment of a former president “does not fail to entail certain traumas” and that it was “prudent” to recommend that he await the judgment on appeal.