Dilma Rousseff terms impeachment proceedings against her as politically motivated
Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff failed to attend her defence hearing in front of the Senate’s impeachment commission. Rousseff was expected to appear to speak in her own defence but instead sent a written response presented by Jose Eduardo Cardozo, her lawyer and former Justice Minister, Xinhua news agency reported.
The President had announced her decision on social media Tuesday, saying that she would “consider the possibility of appearing in front of the Senate, but at another time”.
In a statement read out by Cardozo, Rousseff stated that the impeachment attempt against her was purely politically motivated. She repeated her defence argument that the fiscal manoeuvre, for which she is being investigated, had no impact on the government’s fiscal budget.
On Tuesday, the senators with the commission listened to experts for the defence and prosecution. A number of them concurred that while Rousseff did approve the allegedly illegal budget movements, they did not identify actions that could be said to be a crime of responsibility.
Rousseff was temporarily suspended on May 11 for up to 180 days, pending a full impeachment trial in the Senate, which will be conducted in August.
A two-thirds majority vote in the Senate is needed to fully impeach Rousseff and suspend her from public office for eight years.