Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula’s appointment to chief of staff in the government led by Dilma Roussef has only lasted a few hours. A Brazilian federal magistrate in Brasilia suspended his designation. Despite the fact that protests erupted throughout the whole country, Lula thought he was already safe. Yet, a few hours after the chief of staff instalment ceremony, the decision of the joudge Itagibá Catta Preta from the fourth federal district court stopped the investiture, explaining that Lula could not join the executive because it might have interfered with the course of justice.
“In view of the risk to harm the free exercise of judicial power,” reads the document, “I approve the request for suspension of the act of Mr. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s investiture to State Minister of the Presidency’s Civil Cabinet or any other assignment that implies the prerogative of the fueros”. A status which gives ministers the privilege of being judged only by the Supreme Federal Court, the highest judicial institution of the South American State.
This plot twist happened shortly after the disputed appointment of former Brazilian president. Lula is charged with corruption in relation to the Petrobras oil scandal. If he had become minister, federal judge Sergio Moro – who carries on this investigation with decision – would have lost jurisdiction over his case. The appeal granted by the judge was presented by Enio Meregalli Junior, a lawyer from Porto Alegre.