By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Allies of former presidential candidate, Senator Aecio Neves, questioning Brazil’s Supreme Court decision last week to suspend Neves from the Senate and put him in house arrest. For Congressional representatives the Judiciary cannot prevail over the Legislative.
“The rights of this House are being tested. It is the right time for us to ask ourselves and define what the exact limits are, without defending A, B or C, but defending the Senate, the institution,” said interdependence of the Powers,” said PSDB colleague and Senator, Antonio Anastasia, calling for an interdependence of powers in government.
Even Neves’ political enemies agree. “We have no reason to defend Aécio Neves, but we have every reason to defend democracy and the Constitution,” said the PT (Workers Party) in a statement, echoing that it is up to the Upper House to decide whether or not to suspend one of its members.
By three votes to two, Supreme Court justices accepted the suspension request by the Attorney General’s Office. Prosecutors accused Neves of passive corruption and obstruction of justice in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) graft after former JBS CEO Joesley Batista accused the senator of asking for R$2 million in bribes.
The former presidential candidate denied any wrongdoing stating that the request was on a personal level, as a loan, and that no impropriety was involved. Neves’ defense attorneys claim the ‘private loan’ from Joesley Batista did not involve public money or any returned favors, thus not being considered a bribe or other misconduct.