As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, a majority of appeals judges at a federal court in southern Brazil have voted to uphold a corruption conviction against former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Two judges on the three-member panel have voted to uphold the conviction. The third judge is scheduled to vote later Wednesday afternoon. The two judges upholding the conviction 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. Both judges increased Lula’s prison term to 12 years from the nine-year term imposed by the original trial judge. Upholding the conviction could render the ex-president ineligible in this year’s October presidential election. 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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