RUBENS VALENTE and ANDREZA MATAIS – Folha de São Paulo, 9/17/2012
Today, the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF) commenced the chapter of the trial having to do with the accusation that mensalão funds were used to ensure parliamentary support of the Lula administration. The scheme was commanded by Lula’s former chief-of-staff, José Dirceu, with the help of ten other politicians.
In the past 23 sessions of the trial, the Supreme Court testified that there was misuse of public money, mixed with bank loans, to fund the scheme. Ten of the 37 defendants have already received sentences and three were acquitted.
In the phase that begins today, the ministers of the court will decide whether the embezzled money was used to buy support of the National Congress, as claimed by the prosecution from the Attorney General’s Office.