Brazil court delivers setback to ex-leader da Silva

International

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during the Workers’ Party 7th Congress, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. Da Silva, who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, is fresh out of jail after 19 months in a cell. He could return to jail if he loses his last appeals in Brazil’s top court, but there is no date for those decisions to be made. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A court on Wednesday upheld a corruption conviction against former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was released from prison earlier this month.

A three-judge panel in Porto Alegre also ruled that da Silva’s prison sentence should be raised by four years to 17 years.

Da Silva remains free for now. He was released Nov. 8 after 19 months in jail when the Supreme Court ruled a person can be imprisoned only after all appeals have been exhausted.

Da Silva, who governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010, denies wrongdoing and says corruption cases against him are politically motivated.

The judges in Porto Alegre were ruling on a case in which da Silva allegedly benefited from upgrades that the Odebrecht and OAS firms made to a Sao Paulo farm.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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