>> Former Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, sentenced on Wednesday to 9.5 years in prison. The highest profile conviction yet in a sweeping corruption investigation that has rattled Brazil. The country's first working class President was found guilty of accepting $1.2 million in bribes from engineering firm, OAS.
Reuters correspondent, Brad Brooks, is in Sao Paulo.>> For over three decades, Lula has been a giant on the Brazilian political scene. He left office in 2010 with an 83% approval rate. He was once labeled by former US President Barack Obama as the world's most popular politician. But, in the last three years, Brazil has seen a series of massive corruption in investigations, and they have really ensnared Lula.
>> Prosecutors say OAS spent the money on refurbishing a beach apartment for Lula. In return, Lula was to help OAS win contracts for the state oil company, Petrobras. The case is the first of five that Lula faces, all while still eyeing another run for President in 2018.>> All recent polls show that he is one of the top candidates.
He really stands a good chance of winning if he were to run. The conviction today does not mean he can not run. But, if the conviction is upheld by an appeals court, which could take eight months to a year, that would bar him from running for the Presidency next October.
>> Lula, who has strongly denied any wrong doing, will remain free on appeal.