By Ricardo Brito
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian federal prosecutors presented charges against Joesley Batista, a major shareholder in meatpacker JBS SA <JBSS3.SA>, another senior executive and a former federal prosecutor accusing them of corruption, money laundering and obstruction of Justice, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The charges against Joesley Batista, former executive Francisco Assis and former federal prosecutor Angelo Goulart were presented to a Brazilian court. They would become defendants in a criminal case if the court agreed with the charges.
Lawyers for Batista and Assis said in a statement that charges against Batista and Assis could not be presented before the decision by the Supreme Court on the validity of their plea deals. Efforts to locate an attorney for Goulart were unsuccessful.
The charges, which are under seal, accuse Goulart of leaking internal Prosecutors Office information to Batista and Assis to ease their negotiations for a plea deal.
Under terms of their plea deal signed a year ago, Batista, who at the time headed family holding J&F Investimentos SA, and Assis confessed to certain corruption crimes and were exempted from prosecution for their cooperation.
Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin is considering whether to annul the plea deal, analyzing a request made by former prosecutor general Rodrigo Janot last September during his final days in office. Janot said the plea deal should be voided because facts had been hidden from authorities.
(Writing Tatiana Bautzer)