Former Brazilian president to stand trial over plundering

Former Brazilian president to stand trial over plunderingBrazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva must stand trial for corruption, a judge ruled Tuesday, AFP reported.

The decision came after prosecutors accused the popular leftist of masterminding the large-scale plundering of state oil company Petrobras.

Sergio Mora, the judge behind the Petrobras investigation, accepted charges filed last week by prosecutors investigating Lula - making him the highest-profile figure to face trial in a case that has taken down some of the country's most powerful business executives and politicians.

"Given that there is sufficient evidence of (Lula's) responsibility... I accept the charges," Moro said in his decision.

The charges allege that Lula received the equivalent of 3.7 million reais ($1.1 million) in bribes.

Among the accusations are charges that the former union leader and his wife received a beachside apartment and upgrades to the property from a major construction company, OAS, which was one of the players in the Petrobras scheme.

More broadly, prosecutors last week singled out Lula as the scheme's "supreme commander."
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