Rousseff’s impeachment trial set for late August

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff reacts during a meeting with jurists defending her against impeachment at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 7, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei MarcelinoThe Brazilian Senate ruled on Wednesday that the impeachment trial for suspended President Dilma Rousseff will last for four sessions on Aug. 25-26 and Aug. 29-30.

The decision was taken in a joint meeting between Senate President Renan Calheiros, the president of the Supreme Court, Ricardo Lewandowski, and leaders of different political parties.

Thursday, Aug. 25, and Friday, Aug. 26, will be dedicated to hearing witnesses. This process may continue into the weekend, if needed.

On Monday, Aug. 29, Rousseff will appear and provide her testimony while the prosecutors and defense lawyers will present their cases. On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the senators will express their opinions about the case.

The final vote into whether to impeach Rousseff or not could be held on Aug. 30, if time allows, or the next day.

Rousseff stands accused of seeking to hide public budget deficits through fiscal irregularities, such as delaying loan payments to public banks and ordering additional loans without congressional approval.

Rousseff was temporarily suspended for up to 180 days on May 12 and her vice-president, Michel Temer, took over the presidency on an interim basis.

A two-thirds majority, 54 out of 81 senators, is needed to fully remove her from office.

Should Rousseff be impeached, Temer would complete her mandate until the end of 2018 and she would be ineligible to stand for public office for eight years.

On Tuesday, Rousseff once again pleaded her innocence and pledged to call a national vote on the topic of early elections, should she be returned to office.

 

Source: Xinhua