According to the ruling, Collor de Mello, 73, received 20 million reais between 2010 and 2014 – about four million dollars (US$ 4 million, at current exchange rates) when he was a senator, to “irregularly make contracts viable” between a construction company and a former subsidiary of Petrobras, the state oil company, reported AFP and the Brazilian portal G1.
The highest court -by 8 votes against 2- found him guilty last Thursday for the crimes of corruption and money laundering and this Wednesday he handed down his sentence. “The total penalty is set at eight years and ten months” in prisonannounced at the end of the trial the president of the court, Rosa Weber.
The judge reporting the case, Edson Fachin, He had suggested a sentence of up to 33 years in prison, but the sentence was reduced by the court as a whole.
The facts “proven” in the process are “very serious” and “portray the disastrous misuse of public functions for personal and patrimonial promotion,” Fachin said on Wednesday, the last day of the trial.
Fachin considered when casting his vote that “the then senator used political-partisan influence to promote appointments to the board of (the Petrobras subsidiary) BR Distribuidora and create facilities for the establishment of contracts,” according to the official site of the court.
The investigation fell under the umbrella of the mega-cause Lava Jato, that splashed the entire Brazilian political class since 2014. Money laundering was carried out through more than 40 deposits in accounts in the name of color and in 65 company accounts owned by him. Collor de Mello’s defense denies the accusations.
First president elected by universal suffrage after the military regime (1964-85), Collor resigned from the presidency in 1992 amid allegations of misconduct and corruption.just before the impeachment process against him opened in Congress was consummated.
Later, he was accused in the ordinary courts of receiving bribes in exchange for facilitating contracts with advertising companies during his government, but he was acquitted of the charges due to lack of evidence.
But he managed to return to politics in 2006, when he was elected senator for Alagoas, a poor northeastern state. He held that seat until the end of last year.
In recent years, Collor has reached out to far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro, whom he campaigned for in 2022, against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He is currently a member of the center-right Brazilian Labor Party (PTB).