Rousseff denies using Petrobras funds

Rousseff denies using Petrobras funds to cover personal expenses

Brasilia, June 4 (IANS) The suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday categorically rejected allegations that some of the funds embezzled by the Petrobras corruption ring were used to pay for her personal expenses.

None of Rousseff’s personal costs “were paid through illegal schemes or through corruption,” Rousseff’s office said in a press release, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Once again, there is an attempt to impugn the president’s honour in order to manipulate public opinion and make the impeachment process easier. While attempting a coup, they resort to lies,” it said.

According to an article published in O Globo, funds embezzled from Petrobas, Brazil’s state-owned oil company, in particular from the purchase of a refinery in Pasadena, California, were used to pay bills with Rousseff’s personal hair stylist, Celso Kamura.

However, Rousseff’s press release detailed all services and payments made to Kamura, saying that none were paid illegally.

“All the personal costs of the president have a proven origin,” it read.

Rousseff will seek reparations in the court “for all the defamatory accusations made against her,” it said.

Rousseff was temporarily removed from office in May for up to 180 days after the Senate agreed to impeach her, and Vice President Michel Temer from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party took up the presidency on a temporary basis.

With no charges of corruption weighing against her, Rousseff is being judged for administrative misconduct and disregard for the federal budget as well as delaying payments to public banks, which is known as “fiscal pedaling”.

Rousseff meets thousands of supporters in rally

Rio de Janeiro, June 4 (IANS) Suspended Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff participated in a political rally and addressed her supporters in Porto Alegre in her home state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The rally on Friday gathered at least 10,000 people who oppose Rousseff’s impeachment, which has led to the ascension of Vice President Michel Temer to the top office, Xinhua news agency reported.

Rousseff spoke against the impeachment process, calling it a coup, an opinion shared by a significant number of Brazilians.

“After a long period of dictatorship, in which people could not express themselves, they want to destroy and violate our democracy. I was elected with the votes of 52 million Brazilians,” she stressed.

“They want to stop me from talking on the streets, they do not want me to go around this country and denounce the coup,” said Rousseff, referring to the edict issued earlier in the day by Temer, which limited her official trips to only between Brasilia and Rio Grande do Sul, her home.

As suspended president, Rousseff was forbidden from using president’s official planes but retained her right to a government plane.

An impeachment, under Brazilian law, requires a conviction of crime of responsibility, but the allegedly illegal budget decrees leading to her suspension were never a crime, she reiterated on Friday to the rally.

Rousseff was temporarily removed from office in May for up to 180 days after the Senate agreed to open an impeachment trial.

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