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Former JBS Chairman Surrenders To Authorities

Joesley Batista, the former chairman of meatpacking giant JBS SA (JBSAY.PK), turned himself over to Brazil's legal authorities after the country's Supreme Court approved his arrest for allegedly reneging on the terms of a plea-bargain agreement, according to reports.

High court Justice Edson Fachin reportedly approved the arrest following a request from Attorney General Rodrigo Janot.

In his decision, Mr. Fachin reportedly said there are multiple indications that Mr. Batista is "part of an organization dedicated to the systematic practice of crimes against the public administration and money laundering" and agreed to partially suspend some legal benefits that had been granted to him, making his arrest possible.

Mr. Batista and other JBS executives signed the plea deal in April after admitting to paying millions of dollars in bribes to nearly 2,000 Brazilian officials over at least the past decade. The controversial agreement granted them immunity for their criminal acts in return for their full cooperation with legal authorities.

Mr. Janot recently said a recording, possibly delivered by mistake along with other evidence by Joesley Batista and executives, suggested that some of them omitted evidence and that they illegally got help from a law-enforcement official to arrange the deal that allowed them to escape prosecution.

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. Mr. Temer was accused of accepting bribes and has denied wrongdoing. The charges against the president were shelved by a vote in Congress.

Mr. Batista said Sunday in a note that he surrendered voluntarily and denied having omitted evidence related to his plea agreement.

His brother, JBS Chief Executive Wesley Batista, also signed the agreement, and so far there is no indication his deal is in jeopardy.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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