Former top Brazil aide sentenced for corruption

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FILE - In this June 15, 2005 file photo, Brazil\'s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, right, speaks with Minister Jose Dirceu during a ceremony at the presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil. On Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, Brazil\'s Supreme Court sentenced Dirceu to nearly 11 years in prison on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

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SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's Supreme Court has sentenced the former top aide of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to nearly 11 years in prison on corruption charges.

Jose Dirceu was Silva's all-powerful chief of staff, but he was found guilty of orchestrating a cash-for-votes bribery scheme to win support for the president's proposals in congress. News of the scheme broke in 2005.

The top court on Monday sentenced him to 10 years and 10 months in prison. It wasn't clear when he would begin serving the time.

The political corruption trial is seen as a turning point toward cleaner governance in the country.

Twenty five people have been convicted on charges related to the case, including members of the ruling Workers Party, allied parties and people from the business sector.

 
 
 

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