The evidence that led to former President Lula's conviction

The evidence that led to Lula’s conviction

Was there a "smoking gun?"
Brazil Politics

A Federal Court sentenced former Brazilian President Lula da Silva to 9 years and six months in jail for corruption and money laundering. In his 260-page verdict, Federal Judge Sérgio Moro said that corruption was the “only explanation” for the gifts Lula received from a construction company. But which pieces of evidence based Lula’s conviction?

The case

Moro considered that the former President got unlawful gifts from construction company OAS, including a beachfront triplex apartment. In exchange, he helped the company to win contracts with the federal government during his administration. However, Moro said that Lula’s crimes were part of a vast corruption ring.

The documents against Lula

In his sentence, Sérgio Moro wrote that plea deals were used to corroborate documents – not the other way around, like the defense team suggested. Moro cited that the apartment was used by Lula and his family without any payment to OAS. And that, according to Moro, is an unlawful relation.

  1. Moro cited the following documents in his decision:
  2. A 2005-document signed by Lula’s late wife, Marisa, to acquire a beachfront apartment
  3. A 2010-document changing the family apartment to a higher floor. The apartment would undergo a major reform to accommodate Lula and his family
  4. Internal documents of OAS

Moro also based Lula’s conviction on plea deals by former OAS executives, who stated that the flat was a gift to the former President.

The sentence

The conviction was for corruption and money laundering. For the first crime, Lula was sentenced to six years in jail; and 3 years and six months for the latter.

Lula, however, can appeal in liberty. Prison sentences are only enforced in Brazil after a second verdict confirming a conviction.

Moro wrote in his decision that the verdict was not politically-based, and had no intent to hurt Lula’s electoral ambitions. The former President – the most polarizing political force in the country – is currently leading polls for the 2018 presidential election.