A federal appeal court in southern Brazil voted unanimously Wednesday to uphold a corruption conviction against former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. All three judges on the panel also voted to hike the ex-president’s prison sentence to 12 years from the original nine. The judges cited a strong combination of evidence from both documents and witnesses saying the former president accepted a beachfront luxury apartment from contractors in exchange for his influence over government contracts. Upholding the conviction should render the ex-president ineligible in this year’s October presidential election under a 2010 law signed by Lula himself in the last year of his presidency. However, lawyers for the former president have noted that they can appeal to Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal to keep Lula on the ballot in October despite the corruption conviction.
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