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Brazil's Supreme Court Limits Possibilities to Review Plea Bargains

06/30/2017 - 09h19



On Thursday, June 29, Brazil's Supreme Court (STF) decided that plea bargains in the country can be reviewed and even cancelled at the end of their processes if it is proved that collaborators committed any infringement or failed to perform agreements they had made with the Prosecutor General's Office.

Eight of the Supreme Court's eleven members voted in favor of the decision. With the exception of Justices Gilmar Mendes, Ricardo Lewandowski and Marco Aurélio, all other members agreed that these will be the conditions to review or cancel a plea bargain.

Those who voted against the decision said there should be more situations that could cancel plea bargains made with the Prosecutor General's Office - for example, if there is a clause in the agreement that allows the denouncer to postpone serving his sentence. Several plea bargains made in the Lava Jato operation contain this clause.

With the decision, the Supreme Court made it clear that a plea bargain can only be reviewed if the denouncer does not perform what he had told the Prosecutor General's Office.

Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot says plea bargains are empowered by the decision.

The Prosecutor General's Office gave immunity to the executives of JBS, the world's biggest meatpacking company, in exchange for information that involved more than 1,800 politicians. The benefit they received was criticized by Supreme Court Justices, lawyers and politicians.

Two other points were analyzed: if Justice Edson Fachin would be the rapporteur of JBS's plea bargain and if a rapporteur can ratify a plea bargain single-handedly. The Supreme Court agreed to both points.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

Pedro Ladeira - 14.fev.2017/Folhapress
Justice Edson Fachin, rapporteur of the Lava Jato operation
Justice Edson Fachin, rapporteur of the Lava Jato operation

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