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Top judge accuses Brazil ex-president of pressure

A judge on Brazil's high court is accusing former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of pressuring him to set aside a planned trial of the biggest scandal of his administration.

The accusation by Judge Gilmar Mendes of the Supreme Federal Tribunal comes as the court prepares for an August trial of 38 people implicated in the scandal, in which legislators allegedly were paid to vote for the administration's pet projects.

The "mensalao" or "big allowance" scandal erupted during Silva's first term in 2005 and caused a number of officials to resign. Silva was never implicated and in 2010 ended eight years in power with high popularity ratings.

Mendes' accusation appeared over the weekend in Veja magazine. Silva vigorously denied the accusation in a written declaration.