Brazil’s supreme court voted on Wednesday to sentence former President Fernando Collor de Mello to 8 years and 10 months in prison on corruption and money laundering charges.
The Brazilian prosecutor’s office accused Collor, 73, of having received around $6 million in bribes from a subsidiary of state-run oil company Petrobras.
The top court convicted the former senator in mid-May, but justices had still to decide on his sentence, which he can appeal.
Collor was a dashing, liberalising politician who became Brazil’s first democratically elected president in 1989 after a two-decade military dictatorship, but he resigned three years later after the lower house of Congress impeached him.
A rakish, dynastic heir with a penchant for expensive sports cars, Collor was one of Brazil’s original free-marketeers who
opposed Brazil’s entrenched protectionism and sought to privatise state-run firms in his curtailed presidency.
He continued in politics and later served 26 years as a conservative senator for the northeastern state of Alagoas, where his well-to-do family was from. He chaired the foreign relations committee He lost his seat in last year’s elections.
Collor himself could not immediately be reached for comment. In a note released by the time of his conviction, his defence lawyers said Collor did “not commit any crime” and expressed confidence that he would ultimately be exonerated.