Lula, 73, was found guilty of taking renovation work from a company implicated in a massive corruption scheme. BBC reported the former president is already serving a 12-year sentence over work done on a beach-front property. His lawyers said he would appeal against the new conviction. The former trade union activist and iconic figure for the left in Latin America led Brazil between 2003 and 2010. Lula denies all the charges against him, claiming they are politically motivated and designed to stop him running for president. Federal Judge Gabriela Hardt said construction group OAS extensively redecorated a farmhouse which Lula frequently visited. Lula’s lawyers argued the house did not belong to him but instead to a friend, Fernando Bittar. But Judge Hardt said the ex-leader went to the property far more than the owner and ordered the building work – which reportedly cost the company more than 1m reais (£209,000; $270,000). “The accused received these unjustified benefits because of his position as president of the republic, of whom exemplary behaviour is demanded,” she reportedly ruled. Ms Hardt is the new head of a sprawling investigation known as Operation Car Wash a colossal corruption probe dubbed “the largest foreign bribery case in history” by the US Department of Justice. The former judge in charge, Sergio Moro, resigned the job last year when he took up the role of justice minister in newly-elected President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.]]>

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