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Joesley Batista Returns to Brazil and Says that He Wasn't 'Sightseeing on Fifth Avenue'

06/14/2017 - 12h37

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RAQUEL LANDIM
FROM SÃO PAULO

Joesley Batista, co-owner of JBS Corporation, has been back in Brazil since Sunday (the 11th) and said that he had left the country to "protect the integrity of his family".

He came back to testify before the Federal Police and take care of personal matters. On Monday (the 12th), he was in Brasília to give testimony in the 'Bullish' Operation, which is investigating loans granted by the BNDESPar investment arm of BNDES to the company.

Since he became a plea-bargainer, Joesley is no longer able to invoke the right to remain silent and has to testify whenever he is called upon to do so.

According to a written communication released on Tuesday (the 13th), the businessman said that his family members had suffered "repeated threats" ever since the news got out regarding his plea-bargain testimony and the recording that he made of his conversation with President Temer.

Folhapress
Joesley Batista, co-owner of JBS Corporation, has an apartment in NY
Joesley Batista, co-owner of JBS Corporation, has an apartment in NY

"Joesley Batista was in China - not sightseeing on Fifth Avenue in New York [...]. He didn't reveal his whereabouts due to security concerns. He travelled with the authorization of the Brazilian Judiciary", informed the communication.

"Joesley is a Brazilian citizen, lives in Brazil, pays taxes in Brazil and raises his children in Brazil. He remains personally at the disposition of the Federal Prosecutor and the Brazilian Judiciary to cooperate in an unrestricted manner in order to combat corruption", the communication added.

The release of information regarding Joesley's plea-bargain testimony and of that of other J&F executives, the holding company that controls JBS, created a major crisis for the federal government, paralyzed discussion regarding economic reforms and even called into question the Administration's very survival.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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