A federal court sentenced Brazil’s former speaker of the lower house, Eduardo Cunha, to more than 15 years in prison for corruption, making him the highest-profile political conviction yet in the “Operation Car Wash” scandal.
The former politician’s defense team said they would appeal the decision but Cunha will remain imprisoned pending appeal.
Cunha, who drove the successful impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff, was forced from his position as speaker in July and arrested in October on accusations he received millions in bribes from the purchase of an oil field in Benin by state-run oil company Petrobras.
Over 200 people have been charged in the “Operation Car Wash” probe, a far-reaching investigation that centers on bribes and political kickbacks from contracts at Petrobras.
The Supreme Court is likely to approve soon the investigation of dozens of sitting politicians.