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Lava Jato: Eduardo Cunha, Ex-Congressman and Impeachment's the Architect Was Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

03/31/2017 - 11h59

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FOLHA COLUMNIST
FROM SÃO PAULO

The federal judge Sergio Moro sentenced the former president of congress, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB) to 15 years and 4 months in prison for money laundering, taking bribes and embezzlement.

Cunha is accused of taking a US$ 1.5 million bribe related to a Petrobras negotiation in Benin, Africa. This is Cunha's first conviction in the Lava Jato operation.

The former congressman, who has been in jail since last October, is also being tried in two other lawsuits. Cunha is also being investigated in at least 5 other inquiries.

According to Moro, Cunha's degree of guilt is "elevated" given the importance that came along with the position he held. The judge also stated that Cunha used his "great power and influence" in congress to acquire wealth through illegal means by giving political support to Jorge Zelada, the Petrobras director at the time who was "at Cunha's disposal" and is considered one of the conspirators behind the bribes even though he is not being tried in the same lawsuit as Cunha.

Cunha's attorneys will most likely turn to the 4th Federal Court to appeal the decision. Cunha, who will remain in jail for the foreseeable future, is trying to make bail by turning to the Supreme Court.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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