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Brazil to investigate ex-President Lula da Silva

Last Updated: Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 14:04

London: Prosecutors in Brazil will open an investigation against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva over allegations of corruption for the first time.

He has been accused of involvement in an illegal scheme that used public funds to pay coalition parties for political support.

Lula, as he is universally known, has always denied knowledge of the scheme.

According to the BBC, several of his close aides have been convicted for their involvement in the scheme.

A businessman at the centre of a long-running corruption scandal, Marcos Valerio, told prosecutors last September that Lula knew of the scheme and had received money from it.

Valerio, who worked closely with Lula`s Workers` Party (PT), was giving testimony in a bid to reduce his 40-year sentence on corruption charges.

He was convicted last December with 24 other associates and close aides to Lula in a landmark trial heard by Brazil`s Supreme Court.

According to the report, the scandal, which erupted in 2005, threatened to engulf Lula`s administration for a time, but he was comfortably re-elected as president the following year.

The trial, which became known as the `Mensalao` or the `Big Monthly` allowance, was seen as a key test of Brazil `s ability to charge its politicians for corruption, the report added.


First Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 12:30

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