The defense of Senator Aécio Neves—of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, the PSDB—will request the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to strip him of office, a ruling issued today (May 18) by Justice Edson Fachin, who coordinates Operation Car Wash at the top court. The announcement was made by Neves's lawyer José Eduardo Alckmin.
The lawyer confirmed that Neves asked for $640 thousand from Joesley Batista, owner of meatpacking giant JBS. According to the lawyer, whoever, it was a loan meant to afford the senator's defense in the case under Operation Car Wash against him. It was a private transaction, and bears no connection with his office as senator, Neves's counsel said.
“This sort of operation is ordinary on the civil sphere. We all ask for loans—after all, bank interest rates, as you know full well, are not always acceptable. So, if you happen to have a friend who can help you, you resort to him for help. That's what happened,” he said.
According to newspaper O Globo, Joesley Batista told prosecutors that a similar request had already been filed by his sister, Andrea Neves—placed under preventive arrest this morning (18) in Minas Gerais state.
Alckmin said the senator was surprised by the request for his arrest, filed with the country's Office of the Prosecutor-General, but denied by Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira