Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil's former President Lula has assets frozen

Brazilian former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva holds a press conference at the Workers Party national direction facilities, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13 July 2017 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Lula was once Brazil's most popular president

A Brazilian judge has ordered assets belonging to the country's former President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, to be frozen following his conviction for corruption.

Judge Sergio Moro said nearly $200,000 found in Lula's bank accounts would be blocked.

Flats, land and cars owned by Lula are also covered by the order.

Lula denies the charges, saying they are politically motivated. He intends to stand for election next year.

He is currently the leading candidate for the presidential elections.

Lula, who was once the country's most popular president, will be able to continue using his assets but if his appeal fails they will be seized, sold and the proceeds handed over to the claimant in the corruption case, the state oil company Petrobras.

He would also be stripped of his political protection and go to jail to serve a nine-and-a-half year sentence.

Judge Moro said Lula's bank account and property were worth around $4.3 million.

Court papers listed three flats, a plot of land, two cars and two accounts holding the equivalent of more than $190,000.

Judge Moro found him guilty of accepting bribes from engineering firm OAS in the form of a beachfront flat in return for his help in winning contracts with the state oil company.

The case is the first of five against him.

Lula served eight years as president until 2011 and has said he will run again in next year's elections for the left-wing Workers' Party.

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