SAO PAULO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - An anti-corruption division within the Brazilian prosecutor general's office on Thursday approved a much-criticized leniency deal reached with J&F Investimentos SA, the holding company that controls the world's largest meatpacker.
The decision, announced in an emailed statement, makes it increasingly unlikely that opponents of the leniency deal will be able to derail it. Critics included President Michel Temer, who faced a criminal charge for allegedly accepting bribes from J&F executives, and other politicians accused of taking kickbacks.
The billionaire Batista family at the helm of J&F, which controls meatpacker JBS SA, secured the 10.3 billion-real ($3.1 billion) leniency deal in late May.
It immediately sparked anger in Brazil over what many saw as lax penalties for the crimes the executives admitted to carrying out and a lack of transparency.
Many Brazilians questioned Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot's plea deal by which he decided not to jail brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista who admitted to bribing nearly 2,000 politicians. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr. and Brad Brooks in Sao Paulo; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)