Mensalão is the name given to a corruption scheme by which members of the Government used public money and influence to pay Representatives to vote in favor of the Government.
The Attorney General filed a criminal suit charging 40 people of being involved with the scandal.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court accepted the charges against the 40 people; not all charges were accepted, but everyone of the 40 people had at least one charge accepted; the absolute majority of charges was accepted.
The Court took more than 30 hours to examine each one of the charges. With the Decision, the status of the charged people change from ‘indicted’ (indiciados) to ‘defendant’ (réus).
There is still a very long way to go very anyone is condemned. The Prosecutors will have to produce further evidences, and the defendants will use their lawyers to find ways to delay the proceeds. For example, defendants may list several witnesses each, and they will have to be found and heard by a Judge; in an attempt to speed up the process, President of the Supreme Court Ellen Gracie announced that she will ask for help of Judges and Courts of lower instances.
Nobody (including the Justices of the Court) expects a final decision in sooner than three years.