WORLD

Former Brazilian minister sentenced to 12 years prison

FORMER BRAZILIAN MINISTER SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS PRISON

A Brazilian court sentenced Antonio Palocci, an influential minister during the leftist governments of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, to 12 years prison for corruption Monday.

Palocci, in custody since September, had been convicted of taking bribes and money laundering as part of a huge corruption network centered on the state-owned Petrobras oil company.

He was sentenced to 12 years and two months behind bars by Judge Sergio Moro, who heads the "Car Wash" probe dismantling the embezzlement and kickbacks scheme at Petrobras.

A finance minister under Lula and chief of staff for Rousseff, both from the Workers' Party, Palocci is negotiating a plea bargain with prosecutors. That could add to the avalanche of evidence already driving scores of investigations into political leaders, including Lula who faces five corruption court cases.

Moro is currently considering a verdict in one of those cases, in which Lula is alleged to have received a seaside apartment as a bribe from one of Brazil's biggest construction companies.

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