BOGOTA, Colombia

A Brazilian court annulled one of nine criminal cases opened for alleged corruption against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva because there was “insufficient evidence” to continue the process.

The decision issued Tuesday referred to accusations of alleged corruption, influence peddling, money laundering and illicit associations.

Da Silva was accused of engineering a bribery scheme with Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, in relation to contracts in Angola.

Odebrecht is being investigated for bribing presidents, former presidents and other government officials from 12 countries to obtain construction contracts.

The decision was handed down by a court in Brasilia that had already dismissed some of the accusations last year, but is still pursuing charges corresponding to alleged corruption and influence peddling.

The former president spent 19 months in prison between April 2018 and November 2019 in another corruption case.

Lula´s defense welcomed the decision and said it is the fifth complaint filed against the former president that has not succeeded due to lack of evidence, yet he still has eight charges pending. 

The still popular former president, who was in power between 2003 and 2010, has sought to position himself as the leftist rival to President Jair Bolsonaro whose far-right policies have polarized Brazil.

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