Exclusive: Brazil eyes clearer leniency deal rules after J&F uproar

A backlash in Brazil over plea and leniency deals with the billionaire family that controls meatpacker JBS SA has led prosecutors to start discussions on creating clearer rules for future agreements to ensure equal treatment, three people familiar with the matter said.

The talks over a “basic set of patterns and parameters” to negotiate fines are at a very early stage, two of the people said. Federal prosecutors who serve on a body that validates leniency deals are leading the talks, the people added.

A framework could speed up approval of the accords which allow companies to avoid a ban on doing business with Brazil’s government and usually follow a plea deal admitting guilt. A key condition is the rules should not curb prosecutor’s independence to negotiate the best possible deal, the people added.

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