Angola Affair: One More Nail on Former Brazil President Lula’s Coffin

Lula meets youngsters in Rio Grande do Sul - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula Brazilian federal prosecutors in the Federal District filed charges against former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and ten other people, among them entrepreneur Marcelo Odebrecht, ex-CEO at the Odebrecht construction company.

They were all accused of passive corruption, money laundering, and influence peddling involving the National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) in an attempt to ensure funding for works in Angola.

According to the prosecutors, the works had been carried out by the construction firm, hired by the Angolan government with funds granted by the BNDES for the export of services.

In exchange, the company would “pass on to the parties involved amounts adding up to the equivalent of [US$ 9.38 million] in a concealed fashion.”

Lula meets youngsters in Rio Grande do Sul - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

The prosecution divides Lula’s doings into two stages. In the first, he is being accused of passive corruption, as he was president from 2008 to 2010. Between 2011 and 2015, the charges concern influence peddling.

In addition, the prosecutors request the onetime president to answer for money laundering, a crime “that was perpetrated 44 times and made possible by the transactions justified by the hiring of firm Exergia Brasil, created in 2009 by Taiguara Rodrigues dos Santos, Lula’s ‘nephew’, who is also facing a criminal suit,” the Prosecution Service declared in a note.

Prosecutors also view as illicit the amounts paid to the president for lectures he allegedly delivered at the request of construction company Odebrecht.

Lula is facing several other charges related to a sweeping kickback probe at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Prosecutors also say Lula interfered in a state-run development bank to assure financing for a small firm owned by a nephew of his late first wife. The charges include corruption, money laundering, trafficking of influence and criminal organization.

The ex president has denied any wrongdoing.

A judge last month ruled that Lula must stand trial on money laundering and corruption charges involving company-financed improvements at a beachfront apartment. He says he’s never owned the apartment

ABr/MP

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