BRASILIA – Lawmaker Paulo Maluf, a virtually indestructible 86-year-old politician who has served in almost all Brazilian governments since the 1964-1985 military regime and has been tainted by numerous scandals along the way, turned himself in to police on Wednesday to begin serving his first corruption sentence.
Maluf, the former governor and mayor of Sao Paulo, arrived at the Federal Police offices in Brazil’s largest city one day after the Supreme Court ordered his immediate arrest to serve a 7-year-9-month prison sentence for money laundering handed down to him in May for his deeds in 1993 and 1996.
The legislator, convicted of diverting public funds when he was Sao Paulo mayor, will have to serve the first portion of the sentence in prison, as ruled on Tuesday by Justice Edson Fachin, who had ordered his arrest.
The magistrate rejected any suggestion that Maluf might be able to serve the sentence under house arrest.
Fachin also ordered that Maluf be removed from his post as a member of Brazil’s lower house of Parliament for the rightist Progressive Party.
Maluf’s attorney, Antonio Carlos de Almeida Castro, said in a statement that his client will appeal the conviction.
Maluf was convicted of having “laundered” $170 million derived from corrupt practices via accounts opened abroad, and the case made its way through assorted lower courts before coming to the Supreme Court a decade ago, and the high court finally ruled on it last May.
Maluf was first elected to Parliament in 1983, before the dictatorship ended, although he had served in various political and public posts during the military regime.