Brazil Senate report backs Rousseff impeachment trial

Senator tasked with reviewing president’s impeachment process recommends she be put on trial for breaking budget laws.

LP Dilma: Corruption and media manipulation
The Senate is due to vote on May 11 to try Rousseff [Getty Images]

The senator tasked with reviewing Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment process has recommended that she be put on trial for breaking budget laws, bringing the leftist leader one step closer to suspension from office.

Senator Antonio Anastasia presented his findings to a 21-member Senate impeachment committee, which is expected to vote overwhelmingly on Friday to send his recommendation to the full chamber.

The Senate is due to vote on May 11 to try Rousseff, at which point she will be automatically suspended, pending a trial that could last up to 180 days.

Vice President Michel Temer will take over as acting president and, if Rousseff is convicted, he will serve out the remainder of her term through 2018.

Request for investigation 

Brazilian media has also reported a leaked request by chief prosecutor Rodrigo Janot for the Supreme Court to authorise an investigation into Rousseff, ex-president Lula da Silva and other close allies over their alleged involvement in a vast corrupton network centred on state oil giant Petrobas.

Janot’s reported request for the corruption probe names 31 politicians and other figures, also including opponents of Rousseff, illustrating the way that the Petrobras embezzlement and bribery scheme allegedly spread throughout the ruling class.

But the request has yet to be confirmed by officials.

Dozens of people have already been charged, prosecuted or imprisoned, including some of the country’s richest men and leaders of all political stripes in Congress.

Rousseff has not been named in any direct corruption charges, although she was chairman of Petrobras during much of the time the scheme was under way.

Source: News Agencies