Published: Thu, September 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Brazil's former presidents Lula and Rousseff charged with corruption

Brazil's former presidents Lula and Rousseff charged with corruption

Both Lula and Rousseff were formally accused of criminal associations by Janot.

Separately on Wednesday, Brazil's top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, charged Lula, ex-President Dilma Rousseff and a former minister with obstruction of justice related to Lula's nomination as Rousseff's chief of staff in 2016.

Senator Gleisi Hoffmann, the current leader of the Workers' Party, was also denounced in the same case besides Lula and Rousseff.

Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot on Wednesday said the new charges were related to Rousseff's appointment of Lula in March 2016 as minister of the presidency, a move many believed was created to shelter Lula from an ongoing corruption investigation by granting him the protection of a cabinet-level post. The nomination, later struck down by the Supreme Court, would have shielded Lula from prosecution by lower courts.

Silva is already facing several corruption charges and has been sentenced to 9½ years in prison in one case.

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These were the first criminal charges to be leveled against Rousseff.

"A campaign of persecution against former President Lula, moved by party-dominated sectors of the judicial system", Xinua quoted Lula's press office as saying on Tuesday evening.

Such testimony from a close confidant could be damning for Lula, who intends to run for president again next year if he can successfully appeal a conviction that would bar him from standing. He faces four other corruption trials.

The Prosecutor General said the accused had committed a number of crimes involving the state oil company Petrobras, including corruption and money laundering. The organization allegedly abused other public entities such as the National Development Bank and the Planning Ministry.

"Given the amount still to go, the prediction is that the counting will take all night", federal police said in a statement. Temporary head of state until the election in 2018 is Vice President Michel Temer.

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