By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s federal police announced on Wednesday, October 5th, it was recommending that federal prosecutors hand down another indictment for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on suspicion of corruption. According to officials, the former president is said to have used his influence and received bribes to help a large construction company obtain international contracts.
According to the federal police, construction giant Odebrecht is accused of paying R$20 million (R$30 million at today’s value) to Exergia, a company owned by a relative of Lula’s wife, to obtain contracts in public works in Angola. Officials have also indicted seven Odebrecht executives and two Exergia partners. It is not known if one of the partners indicted is Lula’s relative.
On social media the former leader vehemently denied any wrongdoing, releasing a statement on Wednesday observing that he has always acted within the law before, during and after holding two terms as elected president and noting the ‘media massacre campaign to produce headlines in the press and try to destroy the image of the most popular former president of the country’s history’.
Lula was also handed another defeat on Wednesday, with federal judge Sergio Moro denying an extension of the deadline for Lula’s attorneys to hand in his defense in other accusations related to the Lava Jato investigations.
In May Lula was accused of passive corruption and money laundering. According to prosecutors, the former president received R$3.7 million in bribes from companies involved in the Petrobras corruption scheme. Among the ‘gifts’ the former leader obtained from helping these companies is a triplex apartment in Guaruja, located on the coast of São Paulo state.