Brazilian corruption scandal sees former president charged
Prosecutors in Brazil have filed charges against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife, as the vast corruption scandal surrounding the state oil company Petrobras further engulfs the politics of the troubled South American nation.
Lula may face arrest over his alleged ownership of a luxury, three-floor penthouse apartment in the coastal resort of Guaruja, built by a construction firm with deep connections to the Petrobras bribery scandal, Reuters reported.
The founder of the left-wing Worker's Party, Lula served two terms as president from 2003 to 2010 and remains Brazil's most popular politician. He never declared ownership of the property and still denies it was ever his, insisting the case is politically motivated. Six other people have also been charged alongside Lula and his wife.
The ever-widening corruption scandal, which coincided with Brazil's deepest recession in generations, has already claimed Lula's chosen successor Dilma Rousseff, who was removed from the presidency in an impeachment trial last month.
Lula has also been indicted for obstruction of justice in a separate, related case after allegedly trying to buy the silence of a former Petrobras director who was set to testify. His case is set to go before Judge Sergio Moro, the anti-corruption crusader who has overseen the Petrobras inquiry, known as Operation Car Wash, since 2014.