Prosecutors in the state of São Paulo on Wednesday night officially filed papers seeking an indictment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Prosecutors said Lula committed fraud and money laundering in the use of a luxury apartment in the beach resort of Guarujá. Lula has denied ownership of the apartment. Prosecutors said he was the effective owner of the property, which was owned on paper by a major contractor, OAS, doing business with the government. They said OAS gave Lula use of the apartment in exchange for Lula’s influence with the current administration in Brasília. A São Paulo judge will decide later this month whether to allow the indictment to go forward. Lula has denied any wrong-doing in the case of the Guarujá apartment and in a similar case involving use of a mountain hide-away in Atibaia, also in São Paulo state. Lula was detained for questioning last week by Federal Police in relation to both cases, which are being investigated separately by federal and state prosecutors. According to political risk analysts, a possible Lula indictment could rekindle efforts to impeach current President Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s hand-picked successor.
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