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Suspended Dilma Rousseff presents defence in impeachment trial

Brazil

<p>Brazil’s suspended President Rousseff has presented her written defence to a Senate impeachment trial.</p> <p>She denounced the proceedings as a farce, saying her alleged crimes were no more than “routine acts of budgetary management”.</p> <p>Rousseff herself is not directly accused of corruption, but of breaking fiscal laws.</p> <p>She believes politicians ganged up on her because she didn’t obstruct an inquiry into the state-run oil company Petrobras.</p> <p>“I am being tried because I did not accept blackmail. This impeachment process only exists because I rejected the harassment of blackmailers. Brazil’s biggest risk at the moment is to continue to be led by (an unelected government). A government without the backing of the people will not resolve the crisis because it itself will always be the crisis,” said a statement read on her behalf, through her lawyer, Eduardo Cardozo.</p> <p>Rousseff continues to portray the impeachment process as a soft coup led by her conservative coalition partner Michel Temer who’s now taken over as interim leader.</p> <p>But critics have argued she borrowed far more money than her predecessors to hide the real state of Brazil’s economy before the 2014 election.</p>
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