Lula probed for administrative misconduct: Official
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 14:11
Brasilia: Brazilian prosecutors said they were opening a case against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for administrative misconduct and were seeking to block his assets.

Federal prosecutors yesterday asked a federal court to try Lula and former Social Security Minister Amir Lando for allegedly using public assets for personal benefit, from October to December 2004.

The ex-president and his one-time social security chief allegedly sent 10 million letters to older Brazilians to urge them to seek low-interest loans.

Prosecutors, who claimed a loss of about 9.5 million reais (USD 6 million dollars) for the state in sending the letters, said there was no public interest in the scheme that amounted to political self-promotion by Lula and Lando.

The deal announced in the letters, according to prosecutors, also allegedly benefited a private bank offering the loans that was linked to a corruption scandal involving bribes to ruling party lawmakers that rocked Lula's government in 2005 and 2006.

Prosecutors asked the accused to reimburse the funds spent on the mailing and postage, and asked for the two men's assets to be frozen until they are tried in case they are required to reimburse the state.

Despite the scandal, Lula was reelected in the 2006 presidential polls, and served the remainder of his second term until 2010 with a historic approval rating of around 87 per cent.

His anointed successor Dilma Rousseff took over the reins at the beginning of this year, after she largely won support in last year's general election due to Lula's backing.


First Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 14:11

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