Brazil has formally charged two former presidents, Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with racketeering for plotting to skim funds from Petrobras, the state-owned oil firm.
Brazil’s top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, alleged on Tuesday that eight members of the Workers Party, including Lula and Rousseff, committed a series of crimes involving Petrobras such as cartel formation, corruption and money laundering.
They were the first criminal charges to be levelled against Rousseff, who was impeached in 2016 for breaking budgetary laws.
The news was particularly bad for the uphill battle Lula is waging to win the presidency again.
Lula, who is still Brazil’s most popular politician, is appealing a corruption conviction that would bar him from running for president in 2018.
He faces four other corruption trials.
Rousseff was Lula’s designated successor, and Brazil’s first female president.