Brazil's former President Lula faces more charges

image copyrightAFP
image captionLula left office in 2011 after two terms as Brazil's most popular president with an 83 per cent approval rating.

A federal judge in Brazil has ruled that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will face further criminal charges.

He said there was sufficient evidence for a trial to go ahead.

Prosecutors accuse Lula of involvement in an alleged bribery scheme related to work by the construction giant, Odebrecht, in Angola.

His lawyers denied wrongdoing and dismissed the charges as politically motivated and frivolous.

This is the third case against Lula to received the go-ahead.

He says the charges are designed to destroy his reputation and prevent him from standing in presidential elections in 2018.

In a separate ruling, a judge decided that the former speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, would face trial for his alleged role in the Petrobras scandal.

As speaker, Mr Cunha led the successful drive to impeach former President Dilma Rousseff for breaking budgetary rules.

Ms Rousseff and her supporters described the move as a "coup" in retaliation for her allowing the Petrobras investigation to go ahead.

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