Brazil's Rousseff denies charges at impeachment trial

2016-08-29 20:04
Dilma Rousseff. (File, Eraldo Peres, AP)

Dilma Rousseff. (File, Eraldo Peres, AP)

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Braslia - Brazil's suspended president Dilma Rousseff denied on Monday that she had committed an impeachable crime, as she defended herself before senators preparing to vote on removing her from office.

"I did not commit the crimes that I am unjustly accused of," the 68-year-old leftist leader said in an address to the Senate, repeating her claim that the impeachment drive was a "coup".

She urged the Senate to vote against impeaching her.  

"Vote against impeachment, vote for democracy do not accept a coup," Rousseff said.

Rousseff - Brazil's first female president - was testifying for the first time at her trial, hours before senators were to start voting on her fate.

All indications point to her being removed from office, ending 13 years of rule by the leftist Workers' Party in Latin America's biggest country.

Branding accusations against her "a pretext for a constitutional coup," Rousseff called herself a fighter for democracy.

"I've come to look your excellencies in the eye and to say that I did not commit a crime," Rousseff, said in a calm, firm voice.  

"I did not commit the crimes for which I have been accused unjustly and arbitrarily."

Rousseff is accused of having taken illegal state loans to patch budget holes.

But momentum to push her out of office is also fuelled by deep anger at Brazil's historic recession, political paralysis and a vast corruption scandal centred on state oil giant Petrobras.

Read more on:    dilma rousseff  |  brazil

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