Friday, June 30, 2017

JBS corruption charges survive

The charges of bribery and corruption against Brazil’s president have survived an initial court challenge.

Brazil's Federal Supreme Court ruled on Thursday to validate the plea-bargain deal in which JBS S.A.'s controllers revealed a bribery scheme to Brazilian politicians, leading to a corruption charge against President Michel Temer.

Justice Edson Fachin will remain in charge of the cases arising from testimony by JBS' controllers.

Businessman and JBS Controller Joesley Batista revealed a recorded conversation with President Michel Temer during his plea-bargain deal in May in which the two discuss payment of bribes to former House speaker Eduardo Cunha.

Information revealed in the plea-bargain testimony led Attorney General Rodrigo Janot to formally accuse Temer of passive corruption.

According to Janot, Temer orchestrated a bribery scheme that totaled BRL38 million ($11.8 million US) over nine years.

Temer has denied all charges.

He and his government are, however, also facing much bigger corruption charges in connection with loans to other Brazilian businesses.

In the case of JBS, government officials were bribed to extend loans to JBS to fund its purchase of big North American meat-packing companies, including XL Foods Ltd. of Alberta.