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Brazilian billionaire Joesley Batista surrenders to police

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Brazilian billionaire Joesley Batista surrenders to police

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Billionaire Joesley Batista, one of the owners of JBS SA, the world´s largest meatpacker, and executive Ricardo Saud surrendered on Sunday and were arrested by Brazilian police, their lawyer said. Batista and Saud went to federal police headquarters in Sao Paulo on Sunday afternoon and will be transferred to Brasilia on Monday, their lawyer, Pierpaolo Bottini, said. The arrests were ordered by Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin, who agreed to a request by Brazilian Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot. The court revoked immunity from prosecution under previous plea deals struck by Batista and Saud, a former director of holding company J&F Investimentos. In his decision ordering both arrested for at least five days, Fachin wrote the state witnesses were “selective” and did not present all information related to crimes they confessed to in their plea deals. Janot sought the arrests after Batista and Saud recorded themselves discussing crimes not covered in the plea bargain. The taped conversation, made public by the Supreme Court, was inadvertently submitted to prosecutors with unrelated material last week. In a statement on Sunday, J&F lawyers said both men “did not lie nor omitted information” in their plea deals. The Supreme Court Justice denied a request for the arrest of former prosecutor Marcelo Miller, who was accused by the prosecutor-general of helping Wesley and Joesley Batista with their plea deal before leaving the Prosecutor´s Office in April to a private law firm.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Ricardo Brito; Additional reporting by Tatiana Bautzer in Sao Paulo; Editing by Gareth Jones and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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