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Brazil’s Supreme Court released testimony by corporate leaders accused of corruption Friday that accuses President Michel Temer of taking nearly $5 million in bribes from the world’s largest meat processor.
The testimony follows the release of audio that allegedly exposes a conversation between the head of the meat processing corporation JBS SA and Temer in which the president appears to encourage and approve of bribing Eduardo Cunha, the architect of his predecessor’s impeachment, into silence.
Reuters reported Friday that JDS executives had accused Temer, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), of taking $4.6 million in bribes from the company. The testimony also implicates two former presidents, both of the socialist Workers’ Party (PT): Temer’s predecessor Dilma Rousseff, and Rousseff’s mentor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The revelation follows a bombshell report from the Brazilian newspaper O Globo revealing recorded conversations allegedly between Temer and Joesley Batista, the chief executive of JBS, in which Temer appears to approve of bribing Cunha into silence. “The tapes recorded by JBS’s Joesley Batista reveal that President Michel Temer heard, without objection or reporting to authorities afterwards, the story of an entrepreneur… detailing mechanisms he used to obstruct justice, such as co-opting judges and prosecutors,” O Globo reported.
Batista and his brother, Wesley, who also manages the company, reportedly handed the 39-minute tape over to the nation’s Supreme Court as part of a plea bargain on corruption allegations. O Globo has published the audio, in which a voice reportedly belonging to Batista confirms he is paying Eduardo Cunha a monthly bribe to keep him from testifying against JBS or Temer. “That has to continue, ok?” Temer appears to respond, later saying “excellent” to reports Batista was buying off other legal officials.
O Globo also claims to…