Rousseff's impeachment trial set for late August

Updated: 2016-08-18 10:03


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Rousseff's impeachment trial set for late August

Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff reads a letter to the country in Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, August 16, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

BRASILIA - The Brazilian Senate ruled on Wednesday that the impeachment trial for suspended President Dilma Rousseff will last for four sessions on Aug 25-26 and Aug 29-30.

The decision was taken in a joint meeting between Senate President Renan Calheiros, the president of the Supreme Court, Ricardo Lewandowski, and leaders of different political parties.

Thursday, Aug 25, and Friday, Aug 26, will be dedicated to hearing witnesses. This process may continue into the weekend, if needed.

On Monday, Aug 29, Rousseff will appear and provide her testimony while the prosecutors and defense lawyers will present their cases. On Tuesday, Aug 30, the senators will express their opinions about the case.

The final vote into whether to impeach Rousseff or not could be held on Aug 30, if time allows, or the next day.

Rousseff stands accused of seeking to hide public budget deficits through fiscal irregularities, such as delaying loan payments to public banks and ordering additional loans without congressional approval.

Rousseff was temporarily suspended for up to 180 days on May 12 and her vice-president, Michel Temer, took over the presidency on an interim basis.

A two-thirds majority, 54 out of 81 senators, is needed to fully remove her from office.

Should Rousseff be impeached, Temer would complete her mandate until the end of 2018 and she would be ineligible to stand for public office for eight years.

On Tuesday, Rousseff once again pleaded her innocence and pledged to call a national vote on the topic of early elections, should she be returned to office.