Brazil’s Batista headed back to Rio to face charges on Monday (Reuters U.S. – January 29, 2017)

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Former billionaire Eike Batista, once Brazil’s richest man, is scheduled to arrive in Rio de Janeiro early on Monday, where he is wanted by police in connection with charges including an alleged bribe of about $16 million to a former governor.

“I am returning to answer to the courts, as is my duty,” Batista said in a brief interview with Brazil’s Globo television network at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. “It’s time for me to clear this up.”

Batista, a brash entrepreneur who became the face of Brazil’s fizzled commodities boom, had been sought since last week by Brazilian police, who raided his Rio mansion and confiscated his luxury cars as part of their bribery investigation.

Since the raid, a Brazilian judge has declared him a fugitive and requested his name be added to a wanted list maintained by Interpol, the international police agency. Local media speculated whether Batista, who also holds a German passport, would seek to evade justice.

In the Globo interview, Batista said he never intended to flee and had been in New York on business. Batista declined to answer the reporter’s question about whether he considered himself guilty or innocent.

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