Brazil's former president vows to stand for presidency despite corruption conviction

2017-07-14 02:55:42 GMT2017-07-14 10:55:42(Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a press conference at the headquarters of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso) Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a press conference at the headquarters of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso)
Supporters of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are seen outside the headquarters of the Workers' Party during a press conference held by him in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso) Supporters of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are seen outside the headquarters of the Workers' Party during a press conference held by him in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso)
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Front) reacts during a press conference at the headquarters of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso) Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Front) reacts during a press conference at the headquarters of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso)
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reacts during a press conference at the headquarters of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso) Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reacts during a press conference at the headquarters of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso)
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva holds a press conference at the headquarters of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso) Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva holds a press conference at the headquarters of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 13, 2017. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he still intended to run for president in the 2018 elections. This came a day after he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half-year in prison for corruption and was barred from running for public office for 19 years. (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso)

BRASILIA, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Former Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, confirmed Thursday that he still intends to run for president in the 2018 elections.

This comes a day after he was condemned for 9.5 years in prison for corruption and barred from running in office for 19 years. He was found guilty of receiving bribes worth 3.7 million reais (1.1 million U.S. dollars) on Wednesday.

In a press conference at the headquarters of his Workers' Party (PT) in Sao Paulo, he said that the verdict against him proved his innocence. He added that the sentence by federal judge Sergio Moro, only alluded to his guilt in five or six paragraphs in over 300 pages, and that no evidence had been presented.

"The only proof that exists in this process...is the proof of my innocence. I want to issue a call to the press, if there is evidence against me, please show it to me," said Lula.

Lula, who was president from 2003 to 2010, finished his second term with an approval rating of 80 percent.

While he has been barred from public office, this sentence will only apply if he loses his appeal to a higher court.

"If anyone thinks I am out of the game with this sentence, they should know I am still in the game. I want to tell my party...that from now on, I will stand to be a candidate (to the presidency)," indicated Lula.

He alleged that Leo Pinheiro, the former president of the OAS S.A. construction company who confessed of bribing Lula with a luxury flat, had changed his version of the facts in order to obtain a reduction of his sentence.

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