Joesley Batista, the Brazilian tycoon who turned JBS SA into a global meat powerhouse, has handed himself into police, the latest chapter of a scandal that has tipped Brazil back into political chaos and left his family's business empire reeling.
Under the plea bargain, Joesley Batista and his brother Wesley admitted to bribing nearly 1,900 politicians in recent years. J&F is the company through which Batista and his older brother Wesley control JBS SA, the world's No. 1 meatpacker. Supreme Court Justice Fachin, however, denied the request stating that there was no evidence of wrongdoing that would warrant an arrest.
Mr. Batista and other JBS executives signed the plea deal in April after admitting to paying millions of dollars in bribes to almost 2,000 Brazilian officials over at least the past decade.
Police were preparing to fly Batista from Sao Paulo, an AFP photographer at the airport said, a day after the tycoon turned himself in to the authorities. His opponents were hoping the JBS plea deal would yield further evidence against Temer.
As his lawyers gathered the material, they made a mistake, accidentally sending a tape to the prosecutor's office incriminating Mr Batista.
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Both men didn't lie or omit information from their plea-bargain and they're willing to co-operate with prosecutors, according to a statement issued by J&F. However, Brazil's Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot said this information was omitted in previous discussions.
Janot also called for the arrest of former federal prosecutor Marcelo Miller, claiming the former government official helped Batista secure the agreement by guiding him through the process.
In order to prevent the May plea agreement from being scrapped completely, J&F and its executives are said to be discussing new terms with prosecutors, including raising the fines that Batista would have to pay, Folha reported Saturday. Temer has repeatedly denied the accusations.
As part of his agreement, the former chairman of JBS provided evidence that sparked criminal charges earlier this year against President Michel Temer, who he taped in a secret conversation. Temer has described Batista as a "notorious bandit".