Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been sentenced to 9 years and 6 months in prison for fraud.
Silva was found guilty of accepting 3.7 million Brazilian Real ($1.1m) bribe from an engineering firm, the Independent reports.
A massive clampdown on corruption is ongoing in Brazil, with judges handing out to business elites and politicians jail time if found guilty.
“The present conviction does not bring this judge any personal satisfaction. Quite the contrary, it is regrettable that a former president be criminally convicted. It doesn’t matter how high you are, the law is still above you,” Judge Sergio Moro, who handed out the sentence, wrote in his decision.
According to Guardian, Lula’s lawyers, Cristiano Martins and Valeska Martins, attacked the sentence in a statement:
President Lula is innocent. For over three years, Lula has been subject to a politically motivated investigation. No credible evidence of guilt has been produced, and overwhelming proof of his innocence blatantly ignored. We will prove Lula’s innocence in all unbiased courts including the United Nations.