BRASILIA, March 14 Former leftist President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva told a packed court on Tuesday that he was
innocent of attempting to obstruct Brazil's biggest
anti-corruption investigation ever by allegedly bribing a former
executive at state oil company Petrobras.
"The evidence is false," the 71-year-old former union leader
told the federal court in Brasilia, denying any role in the
alleged attempt to pay ex-Petrobras director Nestor
Cervero not to become a state's witness.
Lula, a two-term president from 2003-2010, is one of the
front-runners for Brazil's wide-open 2018 presidential election
but faces five corruption trials that could bar him from
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing
by Daniel Flynn)