Brazil's Supreme Court to hear slave labor case

AP News
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Posted: Mar 30, 2012 1:56 PM
Brazil's Supreme Court to hear slave labor case

Brazil's Supreme Court says it will hear a slave labor case filed against a congressman.

The high court said on its website Friday that it will rule on the charges filed by the federal prosecutor's office against congressman Joao Lyra. He allegedly submitted more than 50 workers to slave-like conditions on his sugar cane plantation in the northeastern state of Alagoas.

As a congressman, Lyra can only be tried by Brazil's highest court.

The statement says 56 workers were found on Lyra's plantation working 12 hours a day with no days off and living in "subhuman" conditions.

Lyra has said the workers were never stopped from leaving his property.

The court has not set a date to begin hearing the case against Lyra.