Brazil's electoral court rejects preliminary issues in trial on 2014 presidentia

TV Jurerê
09:00:AM - 07/Jun/2017
Brazil's electoral court rejects preliminary issues in trial on 2014 presidentia
Source: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil

Justice Herman Benjamim, who is reporting on the case

07/06/2017 | 9AM

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has held the first of four hearings in the trial that will decide if the successful re-election bid led by Brazil's then-president Dilma Rousseff with Michel Temer as running mate in the 2014 election should be annulled for irregularities with campaign finance and abuse of power, potentially leading to now-president Temer being removed from office. The case was filed by the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), whose candidate, Senator Aécio Neves, was the runner-up in the 2014 presidential race.

In the first hearing on Tuesday evening (June 6), the TSE decided to reject four preliminary issues (issues raised about procedural aspects) posed in the course of the trial. The court resumes at 9 am this Wednesday (7) to allow Justice Herman Benjamim, who is reporting on the case, to hand down his ruling. By decision of the full bench of the court, the following issues submitted by Rousseff's and Temer's defenders were turned down: 1) A petition claiming the TSE could not judge the President of the Republic; 2) a petition to drop two of the three suits pending before the court; 3) an argument that the case was moot due to Rousseff's impeachment in 2016; 4) an argument seeking to revoke the order of witnesses heard in the investigation.

But the most important issue posed by Rousseff's and Temer's defense will be decided this Wednesday: whether or not plea bargain testimonies given by executives of Odebrecht construction company as well as by João Santana and his wife Mônica Moura, the marketers behind the 2014 campaign, should be used in the case.

After the ruling of the reporting judge, the other justices will hand down theirs on Wednesday: Napoleão Nunes Maia, Admar Gonzaga, Tarcisio Vieira, Rosa Weber, Luiz Fux, and Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes. Three further hearings will take place today (7) and Thursday (8), and the possibility of a justice asking to examine the case record (thereby putting the trial on hold) remains open.

Source: Agência Brasil