May 18, 2017 / 1:09 AM / in 6 months

Brazil's president denies authorizing payments to silence politician

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer on Wednesday denied a report that he had authorized payments to silence a possible witness in the country’s biggest-ever graft probe.

Brazil's President Michel Temer gestures during opening ceremony of the 20th conference of the march in defense of the municipalities, in Brasilia, Brazil May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Temer acknowledged in a prepared statement that he had met in early March with Joesley Batista, the chairman of meatpacker JBS SA, who according to newspaper O Globo recorded a discussion with Temer about hush money for jailed former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha. Temer said his conversation with Batista did not “compromise his conduct” as president.

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer and Christian Plumb; Editing by Sandra Maler

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