Brazil: Judge removed from billionaire insider trading trial

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian judicial officials have removed a magistrate overseeing the trial of former billionaire Eike Batista after he was caught driving a Porsche he had ordered seized from the fallen magnate.

The Federal Prosecutors' Office said in a statement Wednesday that judge Flavio Roberto de Souza has been taken off the insider trading case and all his decisions in the matter annulled.

Batista's lawyers have been trying to get Souza removed for months, alleging he was biased against the flamboyant businessman.

In an interview last weekend with the popular Rio de Janeiro newspaper Extra, Souza promised to "scrutinize his (Batista's) soul." Photos emerged this week showing Souza at the wheel of a white Porsche Cayenne, one of several cars he ordered seized from Batista. The cars were to be auctioned.