Corruption trial hailed as good sign for Brazil

AP News
Posted: Aug 02, 2012 1:42 PM
Corruption trial hailed as good sign for Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's Supreme Court has begun hearing a case involving a cash-for-votes scheme that could tarnish the legacy of a hugely popular former president and the ruling party.

Despite dredging up the details of what some call the largest political corruption case in Brazil's history, the Supreme Court trial is also being hailed as a sign of political health in a country where public service has long been marred by corruption and certain impunity.

The trial's main defendant in Thursday's trial is Jose Dirceu, chief-of-staff of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who left office with an 87 percent approval rate.

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It also involves 37 other members of the ruling Workers' Party and of the former government. Silva himself is not accused of any wrongdoing.