The former billionaire Eike Batista has left the Bangu prison in Rio on house arrest. Federal Judge Gilmar Mendes met the defendant’s request over the weekend.
Batista will await the corruption trial from the comfort of his home in Jardim Botânico, an upscale neighborhood in Rio. The Federal Police can make unscheduled visits to his home.
Furthermore, Batista can only leave his home for medical emergencies.
The judge supported the house arrest as long as “the defendant cannot access his businesses’ administrative activities”.
Just last week, Batista’s defense team had its request for release denied by Judge Maria Thereza de Assis (STJ).
However, the lawyers immediately sent in another request to the higher federal court (STF), which then approved it.
The ex-billionaire has been in jail since January. At the time, Operation Car Wash identified him for laundering approximately $100 million for the ex-governor Sérgio Cabral.
The PMDB politician is now serving a full prison sentence for corruption and money laundering.
Batista himself allegedly paid the governor $16.5 million in bribes to receive advantages for his businesses in Rio. Cabral’s wife also benefited from Batista’s corrupt dealings by faking invoices for her legal bureau.
The former billionaire also faces charges of corruption in the U.S. Batista’s oil and gas company OGPar allegedly lied about its trillions of dollars worth of petroleum wares in order to finalize contracts.
Brazil’s richest man
Eike Batista was once Brazil’s richest man, worth an estimated $30 billion. According to Forbes, this value made him the 7th richest man in the world.
However, Batista’s energy, commodities, and logistics companies collapsed in 2014, forcing him to request judicial rehabilitation. The ex-billionaire has since partially or completely sold off his businesses.
In a recent interview, Batista claimed he had paid all of his debts and was ready to invest again. He also claimed he was about to reenter market by launching a new toothpaste brand.