By 59 votes to 21, Brazil's Senate early on Wednesday (Aug. 10) approved Senator Antonio Anastasia's report recommending the indictment of Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff on impeachable offenses. She will face a final trial at the Senate floor.
The report sustained part of the charges in the impeachment petition drafted by lawyers Miguel Reale Junior, Janaína Paschoal, and Hélio Bicudo, making Rousseff officially a defendant in the case. The centerpiece of the charges was that she broke budget laws through accounting maneuvers that became known as “fiscal backpedaling”—delaying government payments to public banks that would go into funding government programs. For Anastasia, the maneuvers can be construed to constitute credit operations between the federal government and state-controlled banks, which is against Brazil's Fiscal Accountability Act.
The outcome of the senators' vote was virtually as expected by interim President Michel Temer—he was counting on 60 pro-impeachment votes. The prosecution now has 48 hours of the vote to present the charges and evidence against Rousseff in writing, and as of that, the defense will have another 48 hours to submit the written defense. Each side will be entitled to use up to six witnesses.
Rousseff's counsel, former Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo, said he was going to use all six witnesses, whereas prosecution lawyer Miguel Reale Jr. said he would submit the charging instrument within 24 hours and use three witnesses. A verdict is expected later in August.
At the final stage, after the witnesses' testimonies, senators will decide whether to convict or acquit her. The votes of two thirds (54) of the 81 senators are required to impeach Rousseff permanently. The final trial hearings can be slated as of August 25.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Brazil's Senate votes to indict Rousseff on impeachable charges