Rousseff defends record at impeachment trial

Rousseff defends record at impeachment trial

Brazil, Aug 30 (IANS) Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff has defended her record during her impeachment trial in the Senate.

Rousseff on Monday said her conscience was “absolutely clean” and that she had not committed any crime, BBC reported.

She is accused of illegally manipulating the budget to hide a growing deficit, BBC reported on Monday.

Testifying in her own defence before a predominantly opposition senate, Rousseff said she had withstood torture in her fight for democracy and would not back down even though she was widely expected to lose a final impeachment vote likely to occur within the next two days.

“I fought against dictatorship. I have the mark of torture on my body,” she reminded senators of the abuse she suffered during imprisonment by the military government.

“At almost 70 years of age, it’s not going to be now, after becoming a mother and grandmother, that I will abandon the principles that have always guided me,” the Guardian quoted Rousseff as saying.

In her 40-minute statement, Rousseff serenely proclaimed her innocence and struck a tone which oscillated between that of a defiant warrior defending social rights and a victimised woman wronged by her usurpers.

Her fight, she said, had been for a more equal society and that the achievements of her government in that field were now “at risk”.

She added that she was determined to continue her fight against the attacks against her, which she said amounted to a “coup”.

Rousseff said she had been “unjustly accused” of crimes she said she had not committed. “I can’t help but taste the bitterness of injustice,” she said.

“The future of Brazil is at stake,” she said.

She ended her defence by again talking about her time in captivity, briefly choking with emotion when she mentioned the torture she had endured “for days on end”.

She thanked those senators who had fought for her to be cleared of the charges before asking those who were opposed to her to “vote against the impeachment, vote for democracy!”.

Senators from her Workers’ Party stood up and applauded once she had finished, while her opponents sat in their seats stony-faced, the BBC reported.

Senators were cross-examining her. They were due to vote later this week on whether to remove her from office for good or whether to reinstate her.

Rousseff is accused of moving funds between government budgets, which is illegal under Brazilian law.

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