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Majority in Brazil's Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Validity of the JBS Plea-Bargain Testimony

06/23/2017 - 12h57

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REYNALDO TUROLLO JR.
FROM BRASÍLIA

A majority of the justices in Brazil's Supreme Court ruled to validate the plea-bargain testimony of JBS executives on Thursday (the 22nd). The court also decided to maintain justice Edson Fachin chairman of the case.

Seven justices supported the chairman's original decision to validate the plea-bargain testimony. Justices Alexandre de Moraes, Luís Roberto Barroso, Rosa Weber, Luiz Fux, Dias Toffoli and Ricardo Lewandowski all sided with justice Fachin.

The result is a big political win for Fachin inside the court given that there were rumors that justices were considering the possibility of a different outcome.

The four remaining judges will position themselves on Wednesday (the 28th), which is when the vote on the matter will be resumed.

The JBS plea-bargain deal led to the investigations of president Michel Temer as well as suspended senator Aécio Neves (PSDB-MG).

The debate in the Supreme Court was initiated by a request that was made by governor Reinaldo Azambuja (PSDB-MS) as well as matters that Fachin himself brought up.

The vote established that the deals that were conceded to JBS informants by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic (PGR) are to be maintained until the very case that led to collaborating with investigators comes to an end.

The deals sparked a controversy since JBS executives were conceded legal immunity. However, justices diverged when it came to deciding on the extent to which the deals could be revised during sentencing - a matter that will continue to be discussed when the trial is resumed.

According to the seven justices who voted in favor of validating the testimonies, the chairman should merely appraise formal aspects (consistency, legality as well as the disposition of the informant).

They also highlighted in the event that an informant upsets the deal signed alongside the public ministry, then the deal could be revised during sentencing.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
Brazil's billionaire businessman Joesley Batista is seen in a private jet after giving testimony to the Federal Police, in Brasilia
Brazil's billionaire businessman Joesley Batista is seen in a private jet after giving testimony to the Federal Police, in Brasilia

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