Brazilian billionaire's son convicted in death

Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The son of Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a cyclist, the Rio de Janeiro state judiciary said Thursday.

Batista's 21-year-old son Thor hit the cyclist last year while driving his Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren at night through a low-income suburb in Rio de Janeiro.

Wanderson dos Santos was riding his bike home from work and died instantly.

Judge Daniela Barbosa Assumpcao de Souza sentenced Batista to two years of community service, the two-year suspension of his driver's license and a one million real ($500,000) fine. The sentence was handed down Wednesday night and can be appealed.

Eike Batista is chairman of an industrial conglomerate active in the energy, mining and logistics fields.

Judge Souza ruled that over two years Thor Batista must work one hour a day for a yet-to-be defined organization, "preferably one involved in the recovery of traffic accident victims," according to a statement from the judiciary.

The $500,000 fine will be used to pay for goods the organization needs to help accident victims, such as hospital and physical rehabilitation products, the statement said.

Batista's attorney Ary Bergher told the O Globo newspaper that the judge punished the younger Batista "only because he is rich. The constitution says everyone is equal under the law."

A person answering the phone at Bergher's office said the lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

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