Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista faces 8-year prison


Once Brazil’s richest businessman, Eike Batista was sentenced to eight years and seven months in prison over market manipulation, local news reported.

According to local economic news outlet Seu Dinheiro, the court also ruled to impose a fine of 82.8 million reals (nearly $20 million) on Batista.

Batista was found guilty of illegal insider trading, while already serving a 30-year home detention sentence for alleged corruption and money laundering.

Last month, the former oil and mining boss was arrested due to suspicious money transactions.

Some Brazilian analysts, however, claim that the fight against corruption that has been taking place in Brazil since former president Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment and ouster from office in 2016 was an organized effort to punish entrepreneurs who have done business with country’s petroleum company, Petrobras, during the long rule of Worker’s Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) led by former Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

“All entrepreneurs who had strong relationships with Petrobras under the PT government are targeted,” Adriano Pires, director of Rio-based consultancy Brazilian Infrastructure Center, told the Wall Street Journal at the height of investigations in 2016.

“Every day in Brazil we can expect another surprise,” he added.

The Workers’ Party ruled from 2002 to 2016 when Rousseff, the country’s first female president and a long-time comrade of Lula, was removed from office two years into her second term.

Both Lula and Rousseff have described the developments since 2016 as a coup against elected leaders.

In August during a TV interview, Brazil’s former President Michel Temer, who replaced Rousseff, said the impeachment of his predecessor was in fact a ”coup”.
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