The Americas

Ex-Brazil lawmaker who led impeachment guilty of corruption

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2016 file photo, former Congressman Eduardo Cunha speaks during the presentation of his defense in the Chamber of Deputies, in Brasilia, Brazil. A judge sentenced Cunha on Thursday, March 30 2017, to 15 years in a corruption scheme at state-run oil giant Petrobras. Cunha was speaker of Brazil’s lower house when he opened impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff on charges of manipulating the fiscal budget. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2016 file photo, former Congressman Eduardo Cunha speaks during the presentation of his defense in the Chamber of Deputies, in Brasilia, Brazil. A judge sentenced Cunha on Thursday, March 30 2017, to 15 years in a corruption scheme at state-run oil giant Petrobras. Cunha was speaker of Brazil’s lower house when he opened impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff on charges of manipulating the fiscal budget. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)  (The Associated Press)

A judge has sentenced the former congressman who led impeachment proceedings against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to 15 years in a corruption scheme at state-run oil giant Petrobras.

Judge Sergio Moro found former Congressman Eduardo Cunha guilty of corruption, tax evasion and money laundering in a case related to a Petrobras contract in the African nation of Benin.

Cunha can appeal Thursday's ruling.

Cunha was speaker of Brazil's lower house when he opened impeachment proceedings against Rousseff on charges of manipulating the fiscal budget.

Cunha voted in April for the impeachment, which was later confirmed by the Senate.

Vice-President Michel Temer assumed the presidency in May.