Eight out of ten judges ruled in favor of his conviction. The reporting judge in the case, Edson Fachin, spoke of a sentence of up to 33 years in prison, saying it would not be announced until May 31, AFP reported.
Collor, 73, the first Brazilian leader directly elected by universal suffrage since the military dictatorship, is accused of having accepted 20 million reais (about 3.8 million euros) in bribes from 2010 to 2014, when he was a senator. Edson Fachin said the ex-president used “his political influence to facilitate the signing of contracts”.
Forty payments were made, according to the prosecution, to facilitate the “irregular” respect of these contracts between the construction company and a subsidiary of the state oil company Petrobras. The defense of the ex-president denies all the charges. The investigation was launched in the context of the Express Washing scandal which has shaken the entire Brazilian political spectrum since 2014.
In 1989, in elections just 40 years old, Fernando Collor de Mello, opposed in the second round to the current left-wing president of the country, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, raised high hopes among citizens. But Brazilians quickly became disillusioned with him: just two years after he came to power, Collor resigned after Congress opened impeachment proceedings against him for “passive bribery”. He managed to get back into politics in 2006 when he was elected senator from Alagoas, a poor state in northeast Brazil, a seat he held until the end of last year. At the end of his second eight-year term in the upper house of parliament, Collor openly supported Jair Bolsonaro, who lost to Lula da Silva in the last presidential election.
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