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Brazil - President Temer formally charged over JBS scandal
29 June 2017

The most senior federal prosecutor in Brazil, Rodrigo Janot, presented a 64-page document to the country’s Supreme Court on June 26 formally charging President Michel Temer with corruption. Report by Leatherbiz.

This document makes a clear link between the alleged corruption and the world’s largest producer of beef and leather, JBS. The text makes 16 specific references to J&F Investimentos, the parent company of the JBS group, as well as four references to JBS and 18 to the group’s former chairman, Joesley Batista.

Prosecutor Janot spells out the accusation against the president, alleging that, in the course of the months of March and April 2017, President Temer received for his own benefit the sum of half a million reais, which at current rates equates to around $150,000. The document says specifically that the money was offered to the president by Joesley Batista and handed over by a JBS executive, Ricardo Saud. It says JBS promised to increase its payments in future to reach a total amount of around $11.5 million.

There will now be a vote in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the National Congress of Brazil, on whether this charge should lead to President Temer going on trial. Reuters has reported that the president’s political allies are confident they can secure enough votes to block this initial attempt to try the president.

However, the news agency has said Rodrigo Janot has a list of charges he will bring against the president. It described the tactic as one of wearing the Chamber of Deputies down. The theory is that if Mr Janot brings charges one at a time, there is a chance Mr Temer’s status will allow him to win enough political support to block a trial at first, but perhaps not vote after vote.