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"Brazilian President Michel Temer gave his blessing to an attempt to pay a potential witness in the country's biggest-ever graft probe to remain silent"
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: May 17, 2017 11:29PM
[www.reuters.com]
Brazilian President Michel Temer gave his blessing to an attempt to pay a potential witness in the country's biggest-ever graft probe to remain silent, according to plea bargain testimony by a powerful businessman, newspaper O Globo reported on Wednesday.

Temer on Wednesday acknowledged he had met the businessman, JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) Chairman Joseley Batista, in March but denied any part in alleged efforts to keep jailed former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha from testifying.

According to the O Globo report, Batista allegedly recorded the discussion with Temer about hush money the executive paid to Cunha, according to the newspaper. The report did not say what Cunha was asked to keep quiet about.

When Batista told Temer he was paying Cunha to remain silent, the president was recorded saying, "You need to keep that up, okay?" according to the newspaper report, which did not identify a source for the information.

Cunha, once a powerful member of Temer's ruling party, has previously said he had compromising information about a host of senior politicians linked to a vast political bribery scandal at state oil firm Petrobras (PETR4.SA).

O Globo reported that Batista and his brother, JBS Chief Executive Wesley Batista, presented the recording to prosecutors as part of plea bargain negotiations underway since March.

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[hosted.ap.org]
Brazilian President Michel Temer late Wednesday denied a report that he endorsed bribing a now jailed former congressman to keep him quiet, an allegation that could have widespread impact in a nation swamped by graft scandals and a populace furious about it.

The allegation made in Globo newspaper report represented a potentially significant blow for Temer, whose administration has lurched from one crisis to another since he took office just over a year ago.

In a statement, the president's office said Temer never solicited payments to keep former Speaker of the House Eduardo Cunha silent.

"He did not participate or authorize any attempt to keep Cunha from reaching a plea bargain with Justice (officials)," the statement said.

Cunha led the impeachment fight that removed Dilma Rousseff from the presidency last year and put Temer, then the vice president, into power. Cunha was later imprisoned on a 15-year sentence for corruption.

The statement from Temer's office confirmed that in March the president did meet with Joseley Batista, chairman of the meat-packing company JBS. According to the Globo report, Batista secretly recorded the conversation with Temer and gave it to justice officials as part of plea bargain negotiations.

The report said that when Temer was told Cunha was being paid to keep silent, the president responded: "You have to keep that up, all right?"
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Re: "Brazilian President Michel Temer gave his blessing to an attempt to pay a potential witness in the country's biggest-ever graft probe to remain silent"
Posted by: pdq
Date: May 18, 2017 09:42AM
The situation in Brazil is just sad. The previous president may have been guilty of some things, but she was done in (politically) by apparently much worse, much more corrupt folks.
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