SAO PAULO Dec 13 A Brazilian federal court
dropped prosecution against Joseph Safra, the world's richest
banker, in connection with an alleged scheme to pay bribes to
government officials in return for waiving tax debts.
The media office of the Brasilia-based Regional Federal
Tribunal for the 1st Region confirmed the ruling, in a 2-to-1
decision. In a statement, the Safra Group said the court's
ruling prevents "the continuation of the action for lack of just
cause and the proceeding ... is now closed."
In March, prosecutors asked Safra be charged on claims he
had knowledge of a 2014 plan by executives at an asset
management unit of his Banco Safra SA to pay 15.3 million reais
($4.6 million) in bribes to federal tax auditors. Safra
repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
($1 = 3.3252 reais)
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Chizu