CONFLICTS

Brazil judge grants release of businessman Eike Batista

A Supreme Court justice in Brazil has ruled that a businessman who was once one of the world's richest people should be allowed out of prison while waiting to be tried for corruption.

In a decision Friday night, Justice Gilmar Mendes ruled that while the allegations against Eike Batista were serious, the alleged crimes happened several years ago. Because of that, the investigation would not be harmed by Batista's release.

Batista gained fame for amassing and then losing a multi-billion-dollar fortune. Earlier this year, he was arrested for allegedly paying bribes to former Rio state Gov. Sergio Cabral to gain advantage in government contracts. Cabral is facing several corruption charges and was jailed last year.

In 2011, Batista was listed by Forbes magazine as the world's eighth-richest person. By 2013, his fortune had crumbled amid debts in his various energy sector companies.

It was unclear when Batista may be released.