ABDOMENIC.A_N THEOLOGIAN is due to stand trial in razil today on a charge of slandering Sao Paulo state police.
Fr Frei Betto, a wellknown trade union sympathiser, was charged because of an article published in May 1992 in which he accused the country's military police of "killing with impunity".
The trial comes at a time of growing criticism of the Sao Paulo police force, which is reported to have killed 1,264 people in the period between January and October 1992.
A growing number of Brazilians have expressed particular concern over the violent tactics employed by the Rota, a rapid-response unit deployed by the military police in situations which they consider "emergency".
Fr Frei Betto's best known book was Fidel and Religion, based on conversations with the Cuban leader.