Brazil’s top prosecutor is investigating potential wrongdoing in his own office and at the country’s highest court, after a bombshell plea deal was undercut by claims the whistleblowers had hidden additional crimes from the state.
Attorney General Rodrigo Janot told reporters a recorded conversation between two executives who have given plea bargain testimony in a widespread corruption case implied a prosecutor meddled in plea deals. The recording also mentioned the Supreme Federal Tribunal. Janot cautioned that the recording of the executives from meatpacking giant JBS offered no proof but said the allegations needed to be looked into.
In a twist, he said the people speaking did not appear to know they were being recorded, even though the audio was handed to rosecutors by their defence team. The information contained in the recording had not previously been revealed as part of the lea argains, and Janot also said he would investigate whether they withheld the material. That could lead to their deals being ancelked and their immunity from prosecution being revoked.
Brazil’s widespread corruption probe has relied heavily on plea bargain deals, and Janot was careful to say that the recording did not affect any evidence the JBS executives have given. Testimony by former JBS executive Joesly Batista has implicated President Michel Temer in alleged corruption. Janot even filed a formal charge against Temer, but Congress declined to accept he charge. Janot is expected to file more charges in the coming days or weeks against the president, but this development may uddy the waters even further.
On Tuesday, Janot formally accused former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of leading a criminal organisation, along with everal of his political allies, in order to extract millions of dollars in bribes. Janot also named Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, emer and several members of their administrations in the charges filed with the Supreme Federal Tribunal. He accuses them of orchestrating the receipt of around US$480 million in bribes.