July 5, 2017 / 10:56 PM / 2 years ago

Brazil's audit court to use Batista's plea deal in case against JBS

Brazil's billionaire businessman Joesley Batista leaves the Federal Police headquarters after giving testimony, in Brasilia, Brazil June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s audit court decided on Wednesday to include terms of a plea deal by JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) shareholder Joesley Batista in proceedings that may request reimbursement of possible losses to the Brazilian treasury from financing the acquisition of U.S. meatpacker Swift & Co in 2007.

Terms of Joesley Batista’s deal with prosecutors, in which he admits bribing politicians, should be used in the proceedings, JBS case’s rapporteur Augusto Sherman Cavalcanti said.

Cavalcanti said JBS received preferential treatment from Brazil’s development bank BNDES, and recommended including among defendants with Batista Brazil’s former Finance Minister Guido Mantega and former BNDES Chief Executive Officer Luciano Coutinho. The companies and people involved have 15 days to present their defense or pay 70 million reais ($21 million), the court said.

In a statement, JBS parent holding company J&F Investimentos said “the audit court decision violates terms of the plea deal with prosecutors.” The company said it will appeal the decision, since “evidence turned by people collaborating with Justice cannot be used against them.”

($1 = 3.2880 Brazilian reais)

Reporting by Cesar Raízer; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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