From Poverty to President to Prison
Former Brazil president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva convicted of corruption charges
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2017 1:56 PM CDT
In this July 5, 2017 file photo, Brazil's Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends the inauguration ceremony for the new leadership of the Workers' Party, with ousted President Dilma Rousseff,...   (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

(Newser) – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva went from poverty in his childhood to two terms as president of Brazil ... to, soon, prison. The former leader was convicted of corruption charges Wednesday and sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars, though he remains free for now on appeal, Reuters reports. He was found guilty of accepting $1.2 million worth of bribes from an engineering firm in return for helping the company get contracts with the state oil company; he faces four more trials on graft charges in a political corruption investigation that has gripped Brazil for more than three years. Lula, the country's first working-class president, left office in 2011 with an 83% approval rating and remains a popular figure in Brazil. He maintains his innocence.

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