Brazil judge upholds Lula corruption conviction; 2 more jurists must vote

BRASILIA, Jan 24 (Reuters) – The first of three Brazilian judges weighing an appeal by former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva voted on Wednesday to uphold a corruption conviction that will likely sideline him from running in this year’s presidential election.

Appeals court judge Pedro Gebran dismissed defense lawyers’ arguments that the conviction for receiving a bribe and laundering money lacked proof and was politically motivated. Gebran said the so-called Car Wash investigation suggested Lula was an organizer of the kickback scheme operating within state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, funding his Workers Party and its allies. (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassú and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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