Police in Brazil arrest meat tycoon over president Temer's bribe allegations

He made a secret recording of Temer in May in which the president apparently admitted paying bribes to influential Brazilian politicians.

Police in Brazil arrest meat tycoon over president Temer's bribe allegations

He made a secret recording of Temer in May in which the president apparently admitted paying bribes to influential Brazilian politicians.

11 September 2017 Monday 10:00
Police in Brazil arrest meat tycoon over president Temer's bribe allegations

By Azania Post Reporter

The head of world’s largest meat – packing company in Brazil JBS has been arrested in connection to the case involving President Michel Temer .

President Michel Temer

A billionaire identified as Joesley Batista has handed himself to federal police officers in the city of Sao Paulo.

Joesley Batista speaking to the press

According to the Supreme Court, the accused tycoon is blamed of hiding of evidence he was obliged to provide as part of a plea bargain agreement.

Temer denied the allegations and said he was an unreliable witness.

He made a secret recording of Temer in May in which the president apparently admitted paying bribes to influential Brazilian politicians. It is alleged that the tycoon made a deal with the prosecutor's office.

He would reveal all that he knew about the alleged corruption scheme in exchange for more lenient treatment from prosecutors.

Batista's accusations led to protests calling for the president's resignation.

JBS executives have been implicated in Operation Car Wash, the vast investigation into corruption at state oil giant Petrobras.

Under the plea bargain, Joesley Batista and his brother Wesley admitted to bribing almost 1,900 politicians in recent years.

President Temer's office called Mr Batista at the time "a notorious bandit" and criticised the police for allowing him to "escape prosecution".

Batista was given until last week to produce all the evidence.

As his lawyers gathered the material, they made a mistake, accidentally sending a tape to the prosecutor's office incriminating Batista.

In the four-hour recording, he seems to admit to a former director of one his companies, Ricardo Saud, that he hid key information from the prosecutors.

Temer replaced Dilma Rousseff last year after she was dismissed over budget irregularities.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sao Paulo calling for the impeachment of President Michel Temer

The tape was leaked to the media during the week, prompting Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot to request the arrest of Mr Batista and Mr Saud.

Supreme Court Judge Edson Fachin ordered their arrest on Friday.

The two men gave themselves up in Sao Paulo earlier on Sunday. They are expected to be transferred to Federal Police cells in Brasilia later on Monday.

Politicians close to Temer said they were vindicated by the decision adding he faced impeachment proceedings over Batista's allegations.

But a majority of lawmakers in the lower house of Congress voted in August against a proposal to suspend him and allow him to be tried by the Supreme Court for corruption.

BBC

Updated: 12.09.2017 10:58
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