Brazil's ex-president Lula faces new corruption charges

Reuters News
Posted: May 22, 2017 6:41 PM

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been charged by prosecutors who said the leftist politician was the mastermind behind the country's biggest bribery scheme.

Lula, a founder of the leftist Workers Party (PT) that controlled Brazil's presidency from 2003 until last year, is already facing five separate trails on corruption charges with a ruling in the first expected by July.

Under Brazilian law, it is now up to a federal judge to decide if Lula will stand trial for the latest charges.

Prosecutors accused Lula of leading a scheme in which politicians and executives at state-run oil company Petrobras received bribes to benefit companies vying for public projects.

Lula's lawyers did not immediately reply to requests for comment, but the former president has in the past denied any wrongdoing in corruption scheme.

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Current Brazilian President Michel Temer is facing calls for his resignation over corruption and said he would not step down even if he was formally indicted by the Supreme Court. Temer took office a year ago after the ouster of Dilma Rousseff, who succeeded Lula.

(Reporting by Alonso Soto; editing by Grant McCool)