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Ex-politician gets 15-year prison sentence in Brazil

Brazil's former President of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years and 11 months in prison for corruption and money laundering connected to a major corruption probe.

Judge Luiz Antonio Bonat in issuing the ruling said Cunha received $5 million in bribes in exchange for contracts for the construction of drillships by state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro, known as Petrobras.

Cunha, from the center-right PMDB party, led an impeachment process against former President Dilma Rousseff before his arrest in October 2016. He was expelled from Congress because of corruption investigations conducted by Judge Sergio Moro, who was later replaced by Bonat.

Moro uncovered the country's largest-ever corruption probe, Car Wash, in 2014, which placed the spotlight on some of the biggest names in politics, including former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The network of corruption is based on the distribution of bribes to politicians in exchange for contracts awarded to Petrobras.

Four luxury vehicles belonging to companies of the former congressman were confiscated on suspicion they were acquired illegally.

Cunha’s defense team said it would appeal the decision.

He has been under house arrest since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.


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