By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – As the third day of testimony before Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) gets under way on Thursday (June 8th), the President’s press corps finds itself having to explain a trip by President Temer and family on JBS former CEO, Joesley Batista’s private plane in 2011.
The Presidency released a statement on Wednesday that confirms the trip of the then Vice President Michel Temer in a private jet in January 2011. The statement, however, says that Temer did not know who the aircraft belonged to.
“The Vice President did not know who the aircraft belonged to and did not pay for the service,” said the press release. According to local media, the jet was owned by Joesley Batista, the former JBS CEO currently being investigated for corruption in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) scandal.
Also according to the note Temer used a ‘private aircraft on January 12, 2011 to take his family from São Paulo to Comandatuba, Bahia’ using the same aircraft two days later to fly back to São Paulo.
Last month, Batista released recordings of a conversation he had with President Temer earlier this year, where Brazil’s leader is heard telling the meatpacking executive to continue to pay off former Chamber of Deputies president, Eduardo Cunha, for his silence.
In the trial to determine whether or not the Rousseff-Temer 2014 presidential campaign received illicit funds, the TSE heard testimony from Odebrecht executives that million-dollar donations were made in the 2014 campaign and statements by campaign managers Mônica Moura and João Santana, that they had received illegal campaign funds abroad.
TSE President, Gilmar Mendes, announced seven extra sessions to hear the case, including three on Saturday, June 9th.