Brazil's Silva accused of corruption in Petrobras probe

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2016 file photo, Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends the impeachment trial of Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff, in Brasilia, Brazil. On Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, prosecutors charged the former leader and his son with corruption in a case involving the purchase of 36 Swedish fighter jets by the South American nation. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian prosecutors have charged former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and eight other people with corruption and money laundering in a case regarding the leader's relationship with mega-construction company Odebrecht.

Prosecutors believe that bribes paid by Odebrecht were used in the purchase of two estates linked to the former president.

Silva has denied that he or his institute owns either of the two properties involved in the case.

The former president's wife, Marisa Leticia, and former Finance Minister Antonio Palocci have also been charged.

Silva was Brazil's president from 2003-2011. Recent polls show him as front-runner for the presidential contest in 2018.