The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) denounced this Wednesday (14) to the governor of Mato Grosso do Sul, Reinaldo Azambuja (PSDB), businessmen Joesley Batista and Wesley Batista, from JBS, and 21 other people. The group is accused of active and passive corruption, money laundering and criminal organization.
The case will be judged by the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) because, as governor, Azambuja has a privileged forum in the court. In a statement, the politician said that he had not guaranteed the right to ample defense and that he received the complaint “with indignation”.
“I received the MPF’s denunciation with indignation and I wait, with serenity, for the opportunity to assert the right to ample defense, until this moment not granted. Now, within the Judiciary, I am fully convinced that the truth will prevail. “, says Reinaldo Azambuja.
THE G1 awaits the return of the defense of the others mentioned.
According to the MPF, the governor of MS and the other defendants received R $ 67 million in bribery payments between 2014 and 2016. In return, says the Public Ministry, public agents guaranteed tax exemptions and benefits to the JBS business group in amounts that exceed R $ 209 million.
In the complaint, the MPF asks for conviction for the crimes, loss of public office for those in government and the payment of indemnity, for collective moral damages, in the amount of R $ 277 million.
Former Finance Secretary of MS and current advisor to the State Court of Auditors Márcio Campos Monteiro is also on the list of respondents. The other 20 names were not released by the MPF.
The complaint was offered by the Deputy Attorney General of the Republic Lindôra Araújo and gathers evidence obtained in Operation Vostok and shared evidence from Operation Lama Asfáltica, award-winning collaboration agreements and breach of telephone and banking secrets of those involved.
Scheme crossed governments
According to the MP, the corruption scheme between JBS and the government of Mato Grosso do Sul has been occurring since at least 2003, involving successive governors.
Prosecutors claim that, even in the 2014 election campaign, Azambuja sought out businessmen for donations. From that moment on, according to the complaint, negotiations began to maintain the criminal scheme, should he be elected.
Joesley and Wesley Batista signed a plea agreement with the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), ratified by the Federal Supreme Court and terminated by the PGR afterwards because of noncompliance with clauses. With that, the two businessmen were denounced.
As the termination of the complaint has not yet been approved by the STF, Lindôra asked the STJ to suspend the criminal proceedings against the two businessmen. When the Supreme Court’s analysis is completed, the STJ may proceed with the proceedings against them.
Also according to the complaint, Reinaldo Azambuja used the position of governor to exercise command of the criminal organization. He asked for and accepted a promise of undue advantages passed on by the JBS company, says the MPF.
Lindôra Araújo points out, as a counterpart to the company, the granting of illegal tax benefits through the signing of Special Regime Agreement Terms (Tares) or additives.
The MPF estimates that about 30% of the amounts that JBS failed to collect from public coffers in taxes were passed on to the criminal organization. The agreements were signed by Márcio Campos Monteiro, as Secretary of Finance.
The payment of undue advantages, says the complaint, was made in three ways:
- official electoral donations, which were subsequently deducted from a “kickback account” maintained by JBS;
- through cold invoices issued by companies and ranchers indicated by Azambuja himself, without due consideration for products or services and with the amounts reversed directly or indirectly for the benefit of the governor;
- and through the delivery of cash in kind to emissaries from Azambuja.
The main operator of the scheme, says the MP, was the son of the governor, Rodrigo Souza e Silva – also denounced.
The MPF states that the breach of telephone confidentiality of those investigated confirms Azambuja’s presence at JBS headquarters in São Paulo on at least two occasions. The complaint also gathers evidence with dates and times for the delivery of cash in kind, by JBS employees, to scheme operators.
The MP also points out that the deliveries were accompanied by the son of Azambuja, who called the operator responsible for receiving and then the father.
In addition, says the MPF, Wesley Batista said in a statement that R $ 12 million was transferred to Azambuja in cash through deliveries to operators in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Check below the notes sent to G1 those cited in the complaint.
- Reinaldo Azambuja, governor of MS (PSDB)
“I received the MPF’s complaint with indignation and calmly await the opportunity to assert the right to ample defense, until this moment not granted. Now, within the scope of the judiciary, I am fully convinced that the truth will prevail. I trust in Justice . ”