CONFLICTS

Brazil's ousted leader defends predecessor against charges

  • Former President Dilma Rousseff holds a flower during a rally for Rio de Janeiro mayoral candidate Jandira Feghali in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Rousseff spoke in support of her mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a day after a federal judge ruled that he must stand trial on corruption and money-laundering charges. A conviction could ruin Lula's chances of running for president again in 2018 and returning the leftist Workers' Party to power. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)

    Former President Dilma Rousseff holds a flower during a rally for Rio de Janeiro mayoral candidate Jandira Feghali in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Rousseff spoke in support of her mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a day after a federal judge ruled that he must stand trial on corruption and money-laundering charges. A conviction could ruin Lula's chances of running for president again in 2018 and returning the leftist Workers' Party to power. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of former President Dilma Rousseff cheer during a rally for Rio de Janeiro mayoral candidate Jandira Feghali in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Rousseff spoke in support of her mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a day after a federal judge ruled that he must stand trial on corruption and money-laundering charges, possibly thwarting the political comeback of one of the remaining dominant forces of Latin America's left. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)

    Supporters of former President Dilma Rousseff cheer during a rally for Rio de Janeiro mayoral candidate Jandira Feghali in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Rousseff spoke in support of her mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a day after a federal judge ruled that he must stand trial on corruption and money-laundering charges, possibly thwarting the political comeback of one of the remaining dominant forces of Latin America's left. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)  (The Associated Press)

Weeks after being removed as Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff is calling the prosecution of her predecessor on corruption charges another attack on the nation's democracy.

Rousseff says Brazil is suffering from a "process that is systematically breaking the constitution."

She spoke in support of her mentor, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a day after a federal judge ruled that he must stand trial on corruption and money-laundering charges. A conviction could ruin his chances of running for president again in 2018 and returning the leftist Workers' Party to power.

Prosecutors accuse Silva of taking bribes from a construction company in exchange for contracts with Brazil's big state-run oil company Petrobras.

Rousseff spoke Wednesday at a rally for Rio de Janeiro mayoral candidate Jandira Feghali.