Brazil: Top figures jailed in big corruption case

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Associated Press

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 9:32 PM

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Top figures found guilty in Brazil's biggest corruption scandal have handed themselves over to police.

Jose Genoino, the former leader of Brazil's ruling Workers Party, turned himself in Friday after the Supreme Court ruled this week that most of the 25 found guilty last year must start serving time.

Jose Dirceu, the former chief of staff for ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said he'd turn himself in within hours.

Genoino was sentenced to nearly seven years for conspiracy and bribery. Dirceu got nearly 12 years for the same crimes.

The scandal came to light in 2005. It involved Silva's aides paying legislators to support Workers Party initiatives in Congress.

The guilty verdicts were seen as a blow to impunity in Brazil, where powerful figures often elude punishment for crimes.

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