Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Joaquim Barbosa, the justice overseeing the corruption trial

"In what has been billed as Brazil's "trial of the century", the supreme court on Thursday started to hear the case of 38 prominent defendants – including former ministers, politicians, bankers and businessmen – who are implicated in a vote-buying case that first hit the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2005.
The Mensalão (big monthly payment) scandal, as it is commonly known, saw millions of dollars siphoned from public funds to pay off politicians and buy support for the coalition. Among the accused is Jose Dirceu, Lula's chief of staff." (The Guardian).
“This trial shows that Brazil’s institutions are functioning with vigor,” said Thiago Bottino, a law professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, an elite Brazilian university. “The justices could have easily washed their hands of this case and walked away; instead, they entered the fight for an ethical democracy.” (The New York Times)
The attorney general, Roberto Gurgel, has said it was "the most daring and outrageous corruption scheme and embezzlement of public funds ever seen in Brazil".
 "For weeks now, Brazilians have been riveted by the televised spectacle at the nation’s high court, in which justices are sparring over what is arguably Brazil’s largest corruption scandal. When the dust settles and sentences are announced, prominent politicians and bankers may actually go to jail.
The fact the trial is even advancing to such a phase — taking aim at congressmen, members of the governing party and senior officials who worked directly under one of the most popular presidents — points to a rare breakthrough in political accountability and a crucial streak of independence in the legal system.
So far, the court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, or Supreme Court, has already found more than 20 of the 38 defendants in the case guilty of crimes including money laundering, misuse of public funds and accepting cash for votes." (The New York Times).
There´s more to unfold...
See complete articles at The New York Times and The Guardian

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