Jenny Barchfield – Bloomberg, 10/10/2012
The one-time right-hand-man of popular former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was found guilty on a corruption charge by a majority of 10 Supreme Court justices Tuesday, who ruled he orchestrated a widespread cash-for-votes scheme that came to light seven years ago.
Six of the eight justices who voted found Jose Dirceu guilty of “active corruption” by organizing the scheme to buy congressional support for Silva’s policies through regular payments to legislators in exchange for their votes. Two more justices will vote Wednesday, producing a formal verdict, but a majority is all that’s needed for conviction.
The case is known in Brazil as “mensalao,” or big monthly allowance, for the sums of up to $10,000 handed over to politicians.