Sentencing begins in Brazil corruption trial

Juliana Barbassa – AP/ABC News, 10/26/2012

A political corruption trial seen as a turning point toward cleaner governance in Brazil is nearing its end, with the country’s Supreme Court starting to hand down tough sentences this week against powerful defendants.

Twenty five people have been convicted on charges related to the funneling of public money into political campaigns and a cash-for-votes scheme in the legislature. The court adjourned Thursday due to a judge’s health problem and will likely resume discussions of sentencing of the convicted in the second week of November.

The trial has riveted Brazil for months, with results that have tarnished the reputation of the governing Workers’ Party. The alleged corruption dates back to the government of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, though he has not been charged and denies the schemes happened.

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