President Michel Temer and his advisors have concluded that the contents of a recording of Temer's conversation with meatpacking tycoon Joesley Batista does not incriminate the president.
On Thursday evening (May 18), Temer and his aides listened to the recording made by Batista, who owns meatpacking giant JBS—a conversation which allegedly implicates the president in trying to buy the silence of former deputy Eduardo Cunha and currency dealer Lúcio Funaro, both of whom are under investigation over the Car Wash corruption scandal.
The recorded conversation, which took place in March, was made public by the Supreme Court (STF) after Edson Fachin, the justice overseeing the Car Wash probe at the top court, declassified part of Batista's plea bargain testimony.
In the 40-minute recording, Temer and Batista can be heard talking about the political scenario, the economic developments, and mentioning the situation of former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, who is jailed in Curitiba. At one point in the conversation, Temer says “You have to keep that going, ok?”, which has been understood as an endorsement from the president for monthly bribes paid to Cunha to ensure he would not tell what he knows to the prosecutors. But the government contends it was a reference to the good relationship between Cunha and Batista.
The government expects that the Supreme Court will investigate further and eventually drop the case filed by Justice Facchin against Temer yesterday (18) in connection with the recording.
Translated by Mayra Borges