Former Brazil leader Lula sentenced to jail for graft

Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (AP File)
Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (AP File)

Braslia - Former Brazil president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sentenced on Wednesday to nine-and-a-half years in prison for corruption and money laundering.

The term was handed down against Lula, an iconic leftist politician who ruled 2003-2010, over a giant embezzlement and kickbacks scheme centred on state-owned oil group Petrobras, at the heart of a sprawling corruption probe known as "Car Wash".

The judge hearing the case said Lula was free pending a possible appeal against the sentence.

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