RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian federal judge Sergio Moro Monday ordered the public auction of an apartment said to belong to former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who's been convicted of corruption.
The former president was accused of participating in a bribery scheme involving state oil company Petrobras. According to the prosecution, Lula helped engineering company OAS get contracts from Petrobras in exchange of a fancy beachfront apartment as bribe.
Though he denied any wrongdoing and ownership of the apartment, Lula was found guilty of corruption as well as money laundering last year and sentenced to nine years and six months in prison.
The former president then appealed, but last week the court upheld the decision and increased his sentence to 12 years and one month.
The apartment will be auctioned and the money will go back to Petrobras, if the sentence is confirmed in superior court. Otherwise the money will revert to either OAS or Lula himself.
Lula's conviction dramatically changed the scenario for the upcoming presidential elections in Brazil where he was going to run for a third term. His Workers' Party's chances to win are now significantly reduced without him.