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Brazilian Supreme Court Will Hear Appeals from 12 Convicted in the "Mensalão" Scandal

09/19/2013 - 08h24

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FROM SÃO PAULO

Nine months after convicting 25 people for their involvement in the "mensalão" (big monthly allowance) scheme, one of the biggest political scandals ever in Brazil, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that it will listen to appeals on some of the crimes for which 12 defendants had been convicted in the first stage of the trial.

The more controversial cases will be re-examined, those in with defendants received at least four votes in their favor during the first phase of the case, which concluded in December. If successful, some of the defendants, including former Minister José Dirceu, will not have to face time in a "closed" prison.

The issue had divided the Supreme Court and was decided by a 6 to 5 vote. Justice Celso de Mello, the oldest member of the court, cast the deciding vote on Wednesday, opining in favor of the motion for reconsideration - a legal resource that will now be used by the defendants in the Supreme Court to re-evaluate their cases.

An analysis of the new motion will only take place next year, following the publication of the judgment that will summarize the decisions at the trial of the first appeals from the defendants, which were almost all rejected. Judge Luiz Fux was selected to be the rapporteur in order to conduct a review of the new motions.

Translated by STEVE HUGHES

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