Brazil's Lula says charges aimed at wrecking his political career

In a room full of ardent supporters Thursday, Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva extolled the virtues of his past public service, rambling about his achievements in the face of recent corruption charges.

Lula's lawyers also said that prosecutors lacked evidence to support their allegations, which they said were part of political scheme to hinder his chances to run for the 2018 presidential election in Brazil.

Lula da Silva, 65, was inaugurated as Brazil's president in 2003 and handily won his bid for a second term.

Making refference to Dilma Rousseff's senate impeachement, Lula said that "it has been shown that bureaucracy is more powerful than the President of the country", calling the whole process a "spectale".

Dallagnol said Lula, because of his control of the machinery of the Workers Party and the Brazilian government, was the central figure in the scheme.

The allegations are not new but now go before Judge Sergio Moro, head of the Petrobras investigation, who will decide whether to accept them, forcing Lula's case to trial.

The investigation extends to the president of the Lula Institute, Paulo Okamoto, and Leo Pinheiro, president of OAS, a construction company heavily investigated under Operation Car Wash.

The former Brazilian president and his wife were also charged with receiving a luxury apartment at a seaside resort in Sao Paulo from a major construction company involved in the Petrobras corruption scandal. Silva, his wife and five others were charged with money laundering and corruption.

Lula is accused of corruption in relation to a top floor triplex apartment in the Solaris building (second left) in Guaruja, SP, Brazil.

His fall, as well as that of the leftist party he founded in 1980, has been dramatic.

The three charges by the Attorney General of Brazil constitute the first brought against Lula.

While the charges against Silva were expected - police recommended them last month - the characterization of his role in the kickback scheme at state oil company Petrobras was stunning.

The Lula Foundation said at the time that it believes the former president had done nothing wrong.

However, she has sparked anger with her bid to appoint Lula as her chief of staff, in apparent bid to grant him immunity and protect him from the Petrobras probe. "The Petrobras graft scheme was aimed at keeping the Workers Party in power by criminal means".

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