Weekly magazine Época published an exclusive interview with JBS owner Joesley Batista. In the piece, Batista describes the inner workings of Brazilian corruption. Moreover, he accused President Michel Temer of leading the “most corrupt and dangerous gang in Brazil.”
Joesley Batista met with Michel Temer back in March. He taped their conversation, as part of an ongoing corruption investigation. During the meeting, both Temer and Batista discussed bribing public officials – including former Speaker Eduardo Cunha.
Batista also recorded Senator Aécio Neves negotiating a 2 million BRL bribe.
The interview, however, contradicts this plea deal. According to Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, there are least two discrepancies. One is the date of his first meeting with Michel Temer. The other refers to the order of events in his contacts with Rocha Loures, a PMDB congressman.
Read some of the highlights from the Época Magazine interview below.
Temer was not shy with money
“Temer does not have much ceremony to deal with [bribes]. He’s not a ceremonious guy with money,” said Batista. “He also once asked me to see if I paid the rent for his office in [São Paulo],” he continued.
According to the businessman, former Speaker Eduardo Cunha, Brazil’s poster boy for corruption, was merely an errand boy for the president. “The person Eduardo referred to as his superior was always Temer. Always speaking on behalf of Temer. Everything Eduardo could solve by himself, he solved. When things got difficult, it would lead to Temer.”
“Temer is the head of the criminal organization. Those who are not in jail today are in the [Presidential Palace]. This class is very dangerous. You can not quarrel with them. I never had the courage to fight them.”
Quid pro quo
“Eduardo, when he was already Speaker of the House, one day said to me like this: ‘Joesley, they are willing to open a CPI [parliamentary commission of inquiry] against JBS to investigate the BNDES. It’s the following: you give me $ 5 million and I end the CPI.’ I said, ‘Eduardo, you can open it, no problem.’ ‘How is it no problem? Investigate the BNDES, you guys.’ I said, ‘No, that’s okay.’ ‘Are you crazy?’
“After much insistence, he turned very serious: ‘Is that really okay?’ Me: ‘Yes’ He: ‘Will it not hurt you at all?’. ‘No, Eduardo.’ He immediately said, ‘Your competitor pays me $ 5 million to open this CPI. If it will not hurt you, if there is no problem … I think they’ll give me the $ 5 million.’