Brazil’s leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva emerged defiantly Wednesday from almost five hours of testimony in a corruption trial that threatens to destroy his storied career.
Arguably the country’s most popular and controversial politician, Lula is accused of receiving a seaside apartment as a kickback from the OAS construction company.
If found guilty, he could be barred from running for office and even jailed, ending his chances of coming back to power in the 2018 presidential
elections at age 71.
The closed hearing put Lula face-to-face with Judge Sergio Moro, a hero to many Brazilians for his relentless pursuit of senators, millionaires and other powerful figures in a graft probe called “Car Wash.”
Lula, whose 2003-2010 rule left him loved by the left and equally loathed on the right, would be by far Moro’s biggest scalp.
However, the fiery orator — who grew up in severe poverty before becoming a union leader, co-founder of the Workers’ Party and a leftist icon across Latin America — came out swinging at his accusers.—APP