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Brazil's Lula faces corruption court

19 May 2017

Authorities in the Brazilian city of Curitiba said last week that supporters and opponents of Lula will be kept apart when he is scheduled to testify before Moro.

Lula is accused of having received bribes worth 3.7 million reais (1.15 million US dollars) from the OAS construction company, in the form of a three-floor apartment in Guaruja, a resort town on the coast of Sao Paulo.

Lula sits atop recent polls for the 2018 presidential election.

Lula, 71, is accused of receiving a seaside apartment as a bribe in a much wider corruption scheme investigated by the so-called "Car Wash" probe upending Brazilian politics.

During two terms in office, Lula, Brazil's first working-class president, greatly expanded the nation's social safety net.

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Globo News showed images of Silva's auto and police escort leaving the courthouse after nightfall. He said prosecutors were accusing him "based on allegations in the press". Among the allies who came to Curitiba to support him was former President Dilma Rousseff. "If they had something concrete against him, there's no doubt he'd have been arrested", said one protester, Gerson Castellano, 50. Early polls have put Lula as a clear victor in the contest - but if he were found guilty and his conviction upheld by a higher court, he would be unable to run.

For Marcos Troyjo, a Brazilian who teaches and co-heads an emerging markets forum at Columbia University in New York, Lula is a long shot for 2018.

"I want to show that the elite is not competent to fix this country but that the steel worker. will manage".

Wearing the Workers' Party red color and waving red flags, hundreds of people came in on scores of buses from around the country to back Lula ahead of his hearing with senior "Car Wash" Judge Sergio Moro.

A spokesman for Lula said the legal proceedings are flawed and biased. Even more basic were #BrasilComLula (Brazil with Lula) and #BrasilComMoro (Brazil with Moro).

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Moro, 44, has become a national figure for his role leading the "Operation Car Wash" probe, which revealed massive kickbacks to politicians in return for inflated contracts with state oil company Petrobras, much of it during Lula's presidency.

But now facing a total of five corruption cases, he is fighting for his reputation and the chance for an epic comeback in elections next year.

In today's case, Lula is alleged to have taken a bribe from OAS - one of the main Petrobras contractors - in the form of a seaside apartment at a posh resort near Sao Paulo. He strongly denied ever wanting or having ownership of the apartment. However, he underlined in court that he had never wanted nor had he owned the apartment.

"When I became president in 2003, I made a faithful promise".

Temer became president in August past year after Dilma Rousseff, Lula's ally and successor, was impeached and dismissed over a series of allegations of financial wrongdoing and breaking budget laws. "The country can't be in this permanent state of conflict, with Brazilian against Brazilian", he said.

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Brazil's Lula faces corruption court