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News > Latin America

Former Rio de Janeiro Governor Gets 72 Years in Prison for Money Laundering

  • Former Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral

    Former Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral | Photo: EFE

Published 21 October 2017

A Brazilian judge added 13 years to Sergio Cabral's sentence, his third conviction in his third trial. 

The former governor of Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state has been found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to 13 additional years in prison.

Former Rio Governor Arrested Over Bribery Allegations

Last year, federal prosecutors accused Cabral of leading a criminal organization that accepted US$66 million in bribes from construction firms in exchange for infrastructure contracts from 2007 to 2014, the years he served as governor. Cabral, 53, faced his third trial for corruption charges, where he was found guilty for the third time.  

The projects included the renovation of the famed Maracana Soccer Stadium, where the final match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup was held, along with public works in some of Rio's biggest slums and the construction of a major highway around the city's outskirts.

The politician had been in prison for the past 11 months and will now see his jail term increase to 72 years. 

Cabral was considered the most powerful figure in Rio politics for the past decade until he was pushed out of office by anti-corruption protests in April 2014. He was also a key figure in the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, which right-wing President Michel Temer is a member of.

He was also governor at the time when Rio de Janeiro, the capital of the state, was chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Marcelo Bretas, the judge who ordered the sentence, said Cabral had "deviated from the noble attributions granted to him by the people's vote to dedicate himself to crimes for several years."

Cabral's defense team said in an official statement that the sentence was "unjust."  

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