To 15 years and 4 months in prison for corruption, in the framework of Operation Lava Jato that shakes the political and business elite of the country
The sentence against the ultraconservative leader was dictated by the judge of first instance Sergio Moro, of Curitiba (south), in moments in which the articulations among legislators to amnesties crimes that could take to dozens of them to prison .
"Among the crimes of corruption, money laundering and fraudulent evasion of foreign exchange, there is material evidence," states the ruling.
The leader of the center-right party PMDB was the great architect of the coming to power of the current president Michel Temer, of the same party, after the impeachment in 2016 of left-wing dictator Dilma Rousseff, who accused both of them Lead an "institutional coup."
One of the convictions for passive corruption is due to the "undue" receipt of 1.3 million Swiss francs (about US $ 1.5 million) for having mediated the acquisition by Petrobras of exploration rights in An oil field in Benin, in West Africa.
Cunha, 58, was in pretrial detention since October 2016. He may appeal the decision, but even then he must remain in custody, according to Moro.
The magistrate turned into an icon of the fight against corruption was in the morning in Brasilia, where he received a decoration from the Supreme Military Tribunal (STM)
"I am giving this medal not only to a federal judge, but to a federal judge who does a job that the whole society recognizes," STM president Jose Coelho Ferreira told reporters.
Weak political climate
The sentence against Cunha takes place in a political climate rarefied by the advance of two investigations with devastating potential
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) is due to judge next week an appeal against the Rousseff-Temer formula in the 2014 elections, for alleged benefit of illegal money from the fraud to state-owned Petrobras, which also involves the construction company Odebrecht .
The invalidation of the election will hardly be able to remove to Temer of the power before the end of the mandate in December of 2018, because they can find resources; But could weaken the already unpopular leader, who seeks approval of controversial austerity measures to pull the country out of recession.
At the same time, the country is anxiously awaiting the lifting of the summary secrecy of 83 files containing complaints against a hundred politicians mentioned by 77 Odebrecht ex-officials.
That signature is one of the main ones involved in the scheme revealed in 2014 by Operation Lava Jato, on bribes paid to parties and politicians to obtain contracts at state-owned Petrobras.
According to press leaks, indictments include nine Temer ministers and the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, as well as politicians from virtually every party.
These files are processed by the Supreme Federal Court (STF), in charge of personalities with privileged jurisdiction.
The wait paralyzes much of the political activity, turned to negotiations of racks to amnistiar the campaign donations (the "Box 2").
Since the beginning of Operation Lava Jato, justice has issued more than 120 sentences, some of them particularly harsh, as against Marcelo Odebrecht, former president of the group, who is serving a sentence of 19 years and 4 months in prison; Or against José Dirceu, former head of government of left-wing president Lula da Silva (2003-2010), sentenced to 20 years and 10 months .
Lula himself is white is the subject of five judicial denunciations, which the iconic leader of the Latin American left attributes to a conspiracy to prevent him from appearing in the elections of late 2018.
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