Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is to go on trial for obstruction of justice in a case related to the scandal at state oil company Petrobras, court documents show.
The Petrobras affair has already seen dozens of politicians and officials arrested.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with six others, is accused of hampering Operation Car Wash, the investigation into the scandal.
He has denied any wrongdoing.
The date for the trial has not yet been set.
Those also charged on July 29 include former senator Delcidio Amaral and investment banker Andre Esteves.
They have been accused of trying to prevent former Petrobras director Nestor Cervero from testifying in a plea bargain deal.
Nestor Cervero was jailed for being the mastermind of the Petrobras scandal.
It is understood that the accusation against Lula is a result of a plea bargain testimony by Delcidio Amaral.
In May, Brazil’s Attorney General Rodrigo Janot accused Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of playing a key role in the Petrobras case, which is estimated to have cost the company more than $2 billion.
Rodrigo Janot said the corruption could not have taken place without the former president’s participation.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made a comeback to frontline Brazilian politics in March, when President Dilma Rousseff nominated him as her chief of staff.
A judge then suspended Lula’s nomination saying it had been aimed at protecting him from possible prosecution.
Operation Car Wash was launched two years ago by prosecutors focusing initially on money laundering.
They say that their investigations have since uncovered a complex corruption scheme at Petrobras.
Brazilian prosecutors allege the scandal was used to finance the electoral campaigns of senior politicians.
Several politicians and Petrobras executives have been arrested and sentenced.
Some of them have agreed to testify against other suspects in exchange for more lenient sentences, taking the investigation to a new level.
VIDEO Brazilian oil company Petrobras has announced it will cut 12,000 jobs by 2020.
The voluntary layoff program will help save $9 billion at the company, which has struggled with losses following a price-fixing and bribery scandal.
It has also been hit by the global slump in the price of oil.
Petrobras, which has reported losses for the last two financial years, is expected to spend $1.23 billion on implementing the job cuts plan.
The semi-public company has long been one of the biggest employers in Brazil, with more than 80,000 employees.
However, Petrobras has seen its business hit by the huge falls in oil prices globally and one of the biggest corruption scandals in the country’s history, which has gone to the heart of the country’s government.
Petrobras’ announcement that 12,000 jobs are to be cut over the next five years is part of a investment plan to turn around the company’s fortunes.
The oil producer reported its biggest quarterly loss to date in Q4 of 2015 – $10.2 billion – after losses at its oil fields and refinery projects.
The corruption scandal involving price-fixing, bribery and political kickbacks over the last two years has dented confidence in the business. Some former Petrobras executives have been jailed.
The scandal has also harmed the reputation of Brazil’sPresident Dilma Rousseff, who was on the board of the company at the time of the offences.
Dilma Rousseff is facing the possibility of impeachment on unrelated charges of false accounting.
Brazilian billionaire Marcelo Odebrecht has been jailed for 19 years over a corruption scandal involving the state oil company Petrobras.
Marcelo Odebrecht was convicted of paying more than $30 million in bribes to Petrobras officials in exchange for contracts and influence.
The Odebrecht group is Latin America’s biggest construction conglomerate.
The Petrobras inquiry has led to proceedings against dozens of business executives and ruling party figures.
Last week Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, also from the governing Worker’s Party, was detained and questioned for his alleged role in the affair.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 70, is suspected of receiving about 30 million reais ($8 million) in speaking fees and donations to his charity, the Lula Institute.
The party has held the Brazilian presidency since 2003, both under Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his successor Dilma Rousseff.
Marcelo Odebrecht was one of Brazil’s richest and most powerful businessmen – with close relations to many top politicians.
He was found guilty of money laundering, corruption and taking part in a criminal association.
Marcelo Odebrecht had been in prison since June 2015 and stepped down from the company in December 2015 – which was founded by his family.
His company built major projects across the continent and in Africa and before the scandal had 181,000 employees in 21 countries.
The corruption scandal has cost Petrobras over $16 billion, including $2 billion that went straight to corrupt executives and companies.
Petrobras’ investments alone represent 2% of Brazil’s GDP, and its downturn has harmed a national economy struggling as a result of low commodity prices.
Brazil’s lower house of Congress has opened impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.
The process is based on allegations Dilma Rousseff broke the law in managing 2014 budget, President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha said.
Despite re-election in 2014, Dilma Rousseff’s popularity has slumped amid a corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil giant, Petrobras.
“I was outraged by the decision,” the president said in a televised speech. “I haven’t committed any wrongful act,” she added.
Dilma Rousseff, who earlier called an emergency cabinet meeting, said she was confident that the impeachment motion would be rejected.
Two-thirds of the lower house must approve the process for it to proceed.
The governing coalition has a majority in the lower house of Congress.
The defeated opposition candidate in last year’s presidential election, Senator Aecio Neves, has tweeted that he supports the impeachment request.
“Everyone in the country must obey the law, especially the president,” he wrote.
Eduardo Cunha is himself facing corruption allegations, which he denies.
He has been accused of lying about a secret bank account in Switzerland.
An ethics committee is voting on whether to authorize action to eject him from his post of speaker.
Eduardo Cunha had been threatening to open impeachment proceedings if the governing party did not offer him backing.
His decision was “purely technical”, he said.
“It was a difficult decision. I did not become speaker of the Chamber of Deputies aiming to approve impeachment proceedings against the president,” said Eduardo Cunha.
The impeachment request had been filed by a distinguished jurist, Helio Bicudo, and some opposition members.
The document blames the government for the corruption scandal at Petrobras and says Dilma Rousseff violated Brazil’s fiscal responsibility laws.
In October an audit court ruled that Dilma Rousseff had borrowed money illegally from state banks to make up for budget shortfalls.
On December 1, the economy minister announced that Brazil’s economy shrank by 1.7% in the Q3 of 2015 compared with the second quarter, deepening the country’s worst recession in 25 years.
Compared with a year ago, the economy is 4.5% smaller.
The corruption scandal at Petrobras was partly to blame for the downturn, said Economy Minister Joaquim Levy.