Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes issued a ruling on Friday (Mar. 18) to suspend the appointment of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to cabinet as Chief of Staff. Mendes's ruling was an injunction granted to two opposition parties (PPS and PSDB) among another 13 petitions received by the Supreme Court Thursday (17) challenging Lula's appointment.
Appeals can be filed with the Supreme Court, but will have to wait until the last week of March for consideration. Until then, Lula is to remain barred from office as Chief of Staff.
In his ruling, Gilmar Mendes argued Lula's appointment as Chief of Staff was designed to give Lula the special privilege of having responsibility for the investigation against him being transferred to the Supreme Court, thus out of the hands of Federal Judge Sérgio Moro, the lower court judge that presides over the Operation Car Wash corruption investigation. “[Lula's] appointment for public office under the described circumstances can be interpreted as fraud of the Constitution,” Mendes argued in his decision to remand the investigations targeting Lula back to Judge Moro in Curitiba.
Lula's appointment had previously been blocked on several occasions through injunctions in the Federal District, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo.
The former president is the target of a spin-off investigation under Operation Car Wash for alleged bribery in buying an apartment and renovations at a country house he visited frequently.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.