Brasilia, May 18: Brazilian President Michel Temer has denied participation in any bribery scheme related to the meat industry, a media report said.
Earlier on Wednesday, O Globo daily published a story detailing how Temer was reportedly caught on tape talking to Joesley Batista, director of meatpacking giant JBS instructing him on a deal, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the report, in the conversation, Batista tells Temer he was paying a hefty monthly bribe to jailed former head of the House of Representatives Eduardo Cunha in exchange for Cunha’s silence.
Temer then instructs Batista to “keep paying.”
Batista delivered the evidence to the prosecution office and confirmed his testimony to a member of the Supreme Court.
In an official statement, Temer admitted to meeting Batista, but said he never tried to buy Cunha’s silence.
“President Michel Temer has never requested payments to obtain the silence of former Representative Eduardo Cunha. He did not take part or authorise any actions aimed at preventing the former Representative from turning state evidence or collaborating with the court,” said the statement.
Before releasing the statement, Temer met with some members of his cabinet.
The news that Temer might have been compromised in tape was the latest episode of the Brazilian political drama.
The Federal Police have been investigating a major corruption scheme in the government and in contracts with private companies for the past three years.
In 2016, President Dilma Rousseff was impeached, due to the combined efforts of Temer and Cunha.