Brazil auctions triplex at center of Lula graft case

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-16 05:45:44|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BRASILIA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- A triplex apartment central to the graft case that put Brazil's ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva behind bars for 12 years was auctioned off on Tuesday.

An unidentified buyer from the capital Brasilia bid on the luxury beachfront unit in Guaruja, on the Sao Paulo coast, just four minutes before the auction closed.

The apartment, which served as the key piece of evidence in state prosecutors' case against Lula, was purchased for 2.2 million reales (610,000 U.S. dollars).

Prosecutors claimed the apartment was a bribe from Brazilian construction giant OAS S.A., which secured lucrative public-works contracts during Lula's term in office.

Lula has denied any wrongdoing, alleging the case was politically motivated to prevent him from running for reelection this year.

His legal team appealed on the grounds that prosecutors presented no proof since deeds to the property were in the name of OAS, but has so far failed to overturn the conviction.

Since the auction began, more than 53,000 people visited an online site featuring pictures of the triplex.

The purchaser now has 72 hours to complete the sale, otherwise a new auction will be held on May 22.

Lula has been serving the sentence since April 7 in Curitiba, capital of southern Parana state.

Parana is where prosecutors centered their investigation into corruption in the public sector, code named Operation Car Wash, which has led to numerous high-level arrests.