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Brazil’s Temer to sue billionaire Batista over graft accusations

BRASILIA, June 17 Brazilian President
Michel Temer denied allegations made by a billionaire business
in a magazine interview published on Saturday that he led a
corruption scheme in which politicians squeezed high-profile
executives for bribes, and vowed to sue the businessman.

In a statement, Temer’s office said he will take “all
appropriate actions” against billionaire businessman Joesley
Batista, who told Época magazine that the 77-year-old
politician has run a bribe-for-favors scheme at the government
since 2010. The statement said that Temer’s lawyers will file
civil and criminal lawsuits against Batista as early as Monday.

In his first interview since striking a leniency agreement with
Brazilian prosecutors, Batista told Época that Temer asked for
money several times since 2010, as he led a group of senior
politicians regularly demanding kickbacks in exchange for
political favors.

Press representatives for Batista and his family’s investment
holding company, J&F Investimentos SA, were not immediately
available for comment. (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and
Bruno Federowski; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Leslie

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