The Supreme Court of Brazil This Wednesday, former president Fernando Collor de Mello was sentenced to eight years and ten months in prison for the crimes of passive corruption and money laundering, in a trial for the bribes he took for granted that he received between 2010 and 2014when he was serving as a senator.
The penalty was set by the highest court in the seventh session of the trial against the former president, after Collor de Mello had been found guilty last Thursday by the majority of the ten magistrates that make up the Federal Supreme Court (STF), with eight votes in favor and two against.
According to the Supreme Court’s decision, the former president will have to begin serving his sentence in a closed regime. However, since he can still appeal the decision and he has criminal benefits for his age (73 years), He will remain free until all the appeals presented by his defense are judged.
The final sentence was almost four times less than the 33-year sentence initially proposed by magistrate Edson Fachin, investigator of the case, along with a pecuniary penalty of 20 million reais (4 million dollars or 3.4 million euros), which This Wednesday it was converted into a fine of 450 minimum wages (about 594,000 reais/117,159 dollars/110,000 euros).
According to the complaint filed against Collor de Mello by the Prosecutor’s Office in 2015, the former head of state used his influence in politics to benefit businessman Joao Lyra in fraudulent contracts with BR Distribuidora, a subsidiary of the state oil company Petrobras, with who maintains a “friendly relationship”.
For intermediating in the concession of such contracts, for a total value of 240 million reais (today 48 million dollars), the former president received a “commission” equivalent to about 15% of that amount, according to what was proven by the Justice.
Collor de Mello governed Brazil between 1990 and 1992, when he resigned from his mandate at a time when Parliament was preparing to conclude an impeachment trial against him, on charges of alleged corruption of which he would later be acquitted in the same Supreme Court.
Between 2007 and 2023 he held a seat in the Senate and last year he was an unsuccessful candidate for the position of governor of the state of Alagoas, which he had already held before reaching the Presidency.