NEWS IN ENGLISH – In mensalão case, relator subdivides the sixth chapter into active and passive corruption parts

24/09/2012 10:15

Débora Zampier       Reporter Agencia Brasil

Brasilia - – On Wednesday, September 12,, the justice-relator in Penal Case 470, known as the mensalão, Joaquim Barbosa, suggested that the sixth chapter, where there are 23 defendants accused of active corruption, passive corruption, conspiracy and money laundering, was just too unwieldy and should be divided it into two parts. The relator, the revisor and the other eight justices agreed to change the mensalão road map: the 10 defendants facing charges of active corruption will be judged after the 13 defendants charged with passive corruption, conspiracy and money laundering have been dealt with.

The sixth chapter or part of the case goes right to the heart of the mensalão: the alleged payment of more or less regular bribes to members of Congress so they would vote with the government during the first Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva administration (2003-2005). According to the prosecution (“Ministerio Público Federal – MPF”), and the relator, justice Joaquim Barbosa, who has so far followed the MPF, the payments were made by the PT to members of the PP, PL, PTB and PMDB so they would support the government. The defense admits the payments were made, but claims the money was to pay off campaign debts.

In the oral presentation of his vote last week (Monday, Wednesday and part of Thursday, September 17, 19 and 20, when he spoke for slightly over nine hours), Barbosa absolved only one of the accused, Jacinto Lamas (formerly the treasurer of the PL). All the other twelve defendants he found guilty (including two federal deputies and a mayor who are presently in office).

The revisor, justice Ricardo Lewandowski, says he intends to conclude his vote on Wednesday, September 26. 

As a result, the forecast is for the judgment of active corruption, involving two former ministers of state (cabinet members), the former president of the PT and its former treasurer, along with six others, who are accused of being the masterminds behind the vote-buying scandal, to begin Monday, October 1; that is, during the week of the first round of voting in this year's municipal elections.

Barbosa and Lewandowski deny the trial has become political. According to Barbosa, the only reason for postponing the active corruption part of the sixth chapter was simply weariness. He said he was just tired after talking so much.

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English

Link - Julgamento do mensalão tem nova divisão no capítulo sobre compra de apoio no Congresso