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Business Magnate Eike Batista Is Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Bribing Former Rio Governor Cabral

07/04/2018 - 12h39

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ITALO NOGUEIRA
RIO DE JANEIRO

Former business magnate Eike Batista was sentenced to 30 years in prison following a lawsuit in which he was found guilty of bribing former Rio governor Sérgio Cabral (MDB).

This is the first time the businessman was sentenced. He was found guilty on corruption charges and money laundering by Judge Marcelo Bretas.

Bretas sentenced Mr. Cabral to 22 years and eight months in prison. This is the sixth time Cabral has been found guilty. The former Rio governor is facing a total of 123 years and four months of prison.

Mr. Batista was sentenced in the aftermath of Operation Eficiência ("Efficiency"). He was accused of paying US$ 16.6 million in bribes - which is equivalent to R$ 51.9 million - to Cabral back in 2011.

Bretas also sentenced four other defendants, among whom were the former first lady of Rio, Adriana Ancelmo and Flávio Godinho, who had been Eike's right hand man.

Mr. Batista tried to reach a plea bargain agreement with federal prosecutors, but negotiations fell through.

Back in 2012, Forbes estimated that the businessman had a fortune of US$ 30 billion and was the 7th wealthiest man in the world. He wanted to rise to the top of the list by exploring the pre-salt oil fields. But in 2017, he became the first person in Forbes' Top 10 list to go to jail since Pablo Escobar in 1991.

His background did not count in his favor when determining the duration of his sentence.

Mr. Batista was arrested in January but released in April, following an injunction issued by Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes. The businessman will be forced to spend evenings at home and will not be allowed to leave his home on holidays and weekends.

In 2018, Eike Batista tried to make his comeback as a youtuber.

His attorneys have said that they will appeal the decision. In a hearing, former Rio Governor Cabral denied receiving kickbacks. The defense of Adriana Ancelmo stated that her sentence will be adjusted once her appeal has been appraised.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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