By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Supreme Court, the STF, has sentenced ex-Chief of Staff José Dirceu to ten years, ten months in prison for corruption crimes relating to the mensalão scandal that has rocked Brazilian politics. Dirceu must also pay a fine of R$676,000 (US$330,000) and will serve his sentence – at least for now – in a closed prison, rather than in a semi-open prison or under house arrest. José Dirceu (right) with ex-President Lula in 2005, the year the scandal first surfaced, photo by José Cruz/ABr. The top government aide, and ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s right-hand man, had been widely suspected of masterminding the scheme through which deputies’ votes were allegedly bought to help the ruling party – Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) – for at least two years between 2003-2005. Judge and STF president-elect Joaquim Barbosa said: “[Dirceu] held one of the Republic’s most important offices. He defiled the role and made key decisions for the success of criminal business.” Former PT Treasurer Delúbio Soares was sentenced to a total of eight years, eleven months in prison and a fine of R$325,000, and former PT President José Genoino was sentenced to six years, eleven months in a minimum-security prison and a R$468,000 fine – both also for bribery and for forming the core group. But the biggest sentence has already been handed out: businessman Marcos Valério, condemned for forming the quadrilha (gang), whose sentence totals forty years, two months and ten days, as well as a R$2.72 million (US$1.33 million) fine. Valério has since attempted to implicated ex-President Lula in the scandal – but the latter insists he knew nothing of the scheme’s existence. In the murkiest chapter in the history of recent Brazilian politics twenty-five people have been convicted on charges related to the case, including members of the ruling Workers’ Party, allied parties and business figures. Yet despite the PT’s proximity to the events, the party appears to have survived unscathed, even winning the prized position of São Paulo mayor in the country’s recent municipal elections. Read more (in Portuguese). * The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens. 9 Responses to "Ex-Chief of Staff José Dirceu Jailed: Daily" Pingback: Opinion: The Curmudgeon on Lord Action | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: Officials Fired in New Corruption Scandal in Brazil | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: President Rousseff's Ex-Chief of Staff Claims Inocence: Daily Update | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: The Curmudgeon’s Theorem on Mishaps, Major and Minor | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: Opinion: Money Laundering | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: Brazil Court Approves Retrial for Mensalão Corruption Scandal: Daily Update | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: STF Orders Prison for Convicted Mensalão Figures in Brazil: Daily Update | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: Mensalão Appeal Decision Tied in Brazil Supreme Court: Daily Update | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: Opinion: Packing the Court, a Bovine Smidgen | The Rio Times | Brazil News Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.