Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff testifies at impeachment trial

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The impeachment trial of Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff has reached a dramatic point with the suspended president defending herself in the Senate. Ms Rousseff is accused of illegally manipulating the budget to hide a growing deficit.

She denies the allegations and says the impeachment proceedings amount to a coup d’etat.

Senators are due to vote this week on whether to remove her from office for good or whether to reinstate her.

Determined smile

Ms Rousseff arrived at the Senate building in Brasilia shortly after 09:00 local time (12:00 GMT).

She was accompanied by her friend and mentor, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

She greeted supporters before entering the Senate smiling. A group of about 200 people had gathered outside the building chanting: “Come back Dilma!”

Ms Rousseff will be given 30 minutes to speak and is expected to give a passionate defence of her time in office.

The suspended president has in the past said that the impeachment proceedings are a ploy by her political rivals to end the 13 years in power of her left-wing Workers Party.

She has argued that moving money from the state bank to fill budget holes is not an impeachable offence and is something her predecessors in office have also done.

After giving her defence, she will be questioned by senators. The impeachment vote is scheduled for Tuesday but analysts say it could slip into Wednesday.

 

Source: BBC