Brazil’s embattled president Michel Temer is suing Joesley Batista, the former chairman of the world’s largest meatpacker JBS, amid a scandal that has threatened his tenure.
Renato Oliveira Ramos, the lawyer for Mr Temer’s party, confirmed he filed a a criminal complaint for slander, defamation, and vilification against Mr Batista, who was quoted in an interview on Friday with Época magazine saying the president heads the country’s “largest and most dangerous criminal organisation.”
The president charged back on Saturday, saying that the meatpacker boss was “Brazil’s most successful criminal”. All this stems from a plea bargain Mr Batista signed with Brazilian prosecutors, which included a secret tape made in March and released in May, in which both men were allegedly discussing paying off a witness in relations to the Petrobras corruption scandal.
The lawsuit comes as Brazil’s president was on his way to Russia to promote, among other things, beef exports.