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Brazilian ex-billionaire sentenced to 30 years prison

1 min

Rio de Janeiro (AFP)

Eike Batista, once the richest man in Brazil, was on Tuesday sentenced to 30 years in prison for corruption and money laundering over the massive corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras.

The 61-year-old was also fined 53 million reis ($13.6 million, 11.7 million euros) after he was found guilty by a Rio de Janeiro court of paying a $16.5 million bribe to the ex-governor of Rio, Sergio Cabral, allegedly through the fictitious sale of a gold mine.

Cabral is currently serving a prison sentence of more than 100 years following five convictions for graft.

Batista's lawyers have already said they will appeal.

He was arrested in January 2017 but released under house arrest three months later.

An emblem of Brazil's boom years, Batista amassed a fortune with investments in mining and oil that in 2012 put him in seventh place on Forbes's list of the world's wealthiest.

But by 2013 a downturn in the commodities market wiped out a fortune that had been estimated at $30 billion.

He later came under scrutiny by investigators in the vast "Car Wash" operation that revealed mass corruption by public officials linked to Petrobras.

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