Brazil: “Mensalão” vote-buying convictions to be appealed
Their lawyers will be able to put their kids through Princeton University; heck, the lawyers will have enough money left to retire in Princeton, if they ever get to retire! This is going to be drawn out for decades:
Brazil’s Supreme Court voted Wednesday to reassess the landmark convictions it handed down against a dozen defendants found guilty last year of participating in a vote-buying scheme that rocked the government of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The 6-5 vote allows 12 of the 25 defendants in the case, including Mr. da Silva’s once-powerful chief of staff José Dirceu, to appeal parts of their prison sentences, which could open the door to lengthy retrials. Mr. Dirceu maintains his innocence and says he is a target of political retribution.
The decision could send shock waves through a country that has long struggled with corruption, and where many held up the court’s earlier convictions of the defendants as a sign of change. The cash-for-votes scandal, dubbed the Mensalão, or ‘big monthly payoff’, resulted in Brazil’s biggest-ever political corruption trial.
Instead, the retrials now risk becoming a symbol of the inability of Brazilian prosecutors to make high-profile corruption convictions stick, said José Garcez Ghirardi, a professor of political theory and law at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas law school in São Paulo.
As I had posted a while ago, no one has served time on these charges.