Brazil top court postpones president’s trial News
Brazil top court postpones president’s trial

[JURIST] Brazil’s top court, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) [official website, in Portuguese], on Tuesday suspended the trial of President Michel Temer [BBC backgrounder] who is accused of receiving illegal donations during his 2014 campaign. Following former president Dilma Rousseff’s [Britannica profile] removal from office, her lawyers presented evidence [JURIST report] in November that Temer received a US $295,351 deposit after the same amount was donated by construction firm Andrade Gutierrez to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party [official websites, in Portuguese]. Temer’s legal team has denied [Reuters report] such allegations. Currently, the TSE will not issue a verdict until May at the earliest. Until then, the TSE will hear additional witnesses and arguments from Brazil’s political parties.

Brazil’s political establishment has been in turmoil as many powerful politicians have been brought to the center of embarrassing corruption investigation and trials. Last month, Brazil’s top prosecutor asked [JURIST report] the TSE to open 83 more investigations into politicians in connection to the Petrobras scandal [JURIST news archive]. More than 100 individuals and 50 politicians have been arrested in connection to the scandal, and charges have been filed against some of Brazil’s most powerful politicians, including [JURIST report] former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Although not directly related to Petrobras, in August the Brazil Senate voted to convict [JURIST op-ed] Rousseff on allegations that she used improper accounting to cover-up a growing budget deficit and illegal loans from state-owned banks.