Ex-Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appeared before a court in the southern city of Curitiba to answer a case of graft leveled against him.
Lula who is accused of receiving a beach apartment in return for helping the OAS [OAS.UL] construction firm win government contracts appeared before a crusading, anti-corruption judge on graft charges he dismisses as a political witch hunt.
The former leader who is the highest-profile defendant in a sprawling corruption probe known as “Operation Car Wash” is expected to testify before Judge Sergio Moro, who has spearheaded Brazil’s biggest-ever corruption probe.
However, supporters of Lula, mostly members of activists groups and unions arrived in Curitiba overnight in chartered buses from across the country, to show support for the former leader.
“Even if they were to prove that everything he has done was wrong, I would still vote for him,” said Gabriel Marshall, an 18-year-old member of the Landless Workers Movement who made a 10-hour bus trip from his cooperative farm in Parana state. “He was the only one in power who has not robbed from the poor.”
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