Brazil's Lula charged as 'top boss' of Petrobras graft scheme
Brazilian prosecutors charged ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday with being the "top boss" of a vast corruption scheme at state oil company Petrobras, in a major blow to the leftist hero's hopes of a political comeback.
It was the first time that Lula, still Brazil's most popular politician despite corruption accusations against him and his Workers Party, was charged by federal prosecutors for involvement in the political kickbacks scheme at Petroleo Brasileiro (PETR4.SA), as the company is formally known.
Public Prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol told a news conference that the Petrobras scheme had caused an estimated 42 billion real ($12.6 billion) in losses. Lula's lawyers said in a statement that prosecutors lacked evidence to back up their accusations which were part of political persecution to stop him running in the 2018 election.
"He was the conductor of this criminal orchestra," Dallagnol said during a detailed presentation of the investigation. "The Petrobras graft scheme aimed at keeping the Workers Party in power by criminal means."
Brazil's ex-president hit with corruption charges
(CNN) Brazilian prosecutors on Wednesday presented charges of corruption against ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife, Marisa Leticia da Silva, according to state-run news agency Agencia Brasil.
The charges stem from the Operation Car Wash money laundering investigation. Prosecutors allege the former president benefited from "illicit advances in connection with a renovation of a triplex" in a beach town near São Paulo.
The investigation extends to the president of the Lula Institute, Paulo Okamoto, and Leo Pinheiro, president of OAS, a construction company heavily investigated under Operation Car Wash.