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Former Brazil Presidential Chief of Staff Sentenced to 23 Years for Bribes

© AP Photo / Brennan LinsleyA gavel
A gavel - Sputnik International
Jose Dirceu, was sentenced on Wednesday to 23 years in jail for fraud, money laundering and corruption.

Former Brazilian Economy Minister Guido Mantega (File) - Sputnik International
Ex-Brazilian Finance Minister Detained Amid Corruption Investigation
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The chief of staff for former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Jose Dirceu, was sentenced on Wednesday to 23 years in jail for fraud, money laundering and corruption.

According to the court ruling, the state-run oil company Petrobras top executives bribed Dirceu, who served under Lula da Silva between 2003 and 2005, even after he was found guilty of buying votes of Brazilian legislators in 2012.

"Even the Supreme Court's sentence did not stop the crime from repeating itself," Judge Sergio Moro said.

Petrobras corruption scandal of 2014 affected many high-ranking officials of the ruling Workers' Party who were allegedly bribed by the company's top management to sign inflated contracts to suppliers.

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