Brazil appeals court upholds Lula corruption conviction

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrives at the metallurgical trade union while the Brazilian court decides on his appeal against a corruption conviction that could bar him from running in the 2018 presidential race, in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (Reuters) - A Brazilian appeals court voted 3-0 on Wednesday to uphold a corruption conviction for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in a major blow to plans by Brazil’s most influential politician to run for president again this year.

The unanimous decision reduces Lula’s options to appeal against the conviction and he will likely be declared ineligible if he tries to register his candidacy for the Oct. 7 election. The court also increased his sentence from nine to 12 years in prison for receiving a bribe from an engineering company vying for government contracts during his 2003-2010 presidency.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassú; Editing by Lisa Shumaker