Lula probed for administrative misconduct: Official
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
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.