Brasilia: Brazil's Superior Electoral Court has resumed a trial into allegations that the successful 2014 presidential election campaign that took Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer to power was financed illegally.
The President of the Court, Gilmar Mendes, on Tuesday declared the hearing open, in proceedings that could lead to the removal of embattled President Michel Temer from office, Efe news reported.
The trial, which began in April but had been delayed, has resumed with Temer facing separate corruption allegations.
He was also being investigated by the Supreme Court for alleged crimes of passive corruption, obstruction of justice and illicit association.
The trial began only hours after Temer's ally and former cabinet Minister Henrique Eduardo Alves was detained on suspicion of graft in connection with the 2014 World Cup.
The hearing was expected to last three days, and would look into funds that Rousseff and Temer's campaign received from companies involved in the scandals uncovered at state-owned energy giant Petrobras.
Temer and Rousseff were presenting their defences separately.
Former President Rousseff was impeached in 2016 on charges of misconduct in relation to the federal budget, with her Vice President Michel Temer replacing her after playing a key role in her removal from office.
Both of the accused have called for the annulment of the trial due to lack of evidence.
Temer's lawyers have also demanded that the campaign accounts of both Rousseff and Temer be judged and investigated separately.
They claim that each was responsible for their own collection of campaign donations and funds, denying that there were any fraudulent donations to the current president.
Temer has promised to appeal if found guilty by the electoral court.
If Temer was removed from office, Congress would have to elect his successor within 30 days, with Speaker Rodrigo Maia taking over in the interim.
Published Date: Jun 07, 2017 16:16 PM | Updated Date: Jun 07, 2017 16:17 PM