Brazil Prosecutor Says Rousseff’s Accounting Tricks Not a Crime

  • Prosecutor recommends separate probe into unathorized payments
  • The report has no legal bearing on the impeachment process

A federal prosecutor in Brazil found that the accounting maneuvers that form part of the request to impeach Dilma Rousseff are not a crime, though they do represent an “abuse of power,” according to the report filed Thursday.

The report comes two months after the Senate temporarily removed the president from office to face an impeachment trial, which is expected to conclude in August. Rousseff’s critics say she broke the law when she delayed payments to state banks in order to mask the size of the budget deficit. Rousseff says her actions don’t justify her removal from office.

The prosecutor, Ivan Claudio Marx from the Federal District in capital city Brasilia, wrote the report as part of a criminal investigation into her accounting practices that has no legal bearing on the impeachment process. He wrote that the budget maneuvers were a violation of the contract between the government and state banks, but not an illicit loan.

He recommended closing the criminal probe on the accounting practices. He called for a new investigation into evidence the government made payments without congressional authorization, which he says may have been illegal. A federal judge will decide whether to accept his recommendations.

An aide to Acting President Michel Temer said the report doesn’t alter expectations that the Senate will oust Rousseff when it holds the impeachment vote next month.

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