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Judge Suspends Lula's Appointment; Government to Appeal Decision

03/17/2016 - 15h08

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MÁRCIO FALCÃO
VALDO CRUZ
GUSTAVO URIBE
DÉBORA ÁLVARES
DANIELA LIMA
FROM BRASÍLIA

This Thursday (17), a decision by the Federal Court of Brasília suspended ex-president Lula's appointment as Chief of Staff of the Dilma Rousseff administration.

The decision is provisional (a warning) and was signed by judge Itagiba Catta Preta Neto, who acknowledged there is reason to suspect that crimes were committed by Dilma. The judge received a class action lawsuit filed by attorney Enio Meregali Júnior.

The appointment was published in a special edition of the "Official Journal of the Union" at 7pm on Wednesday (16), the same day that the Workers' Party member accepted the position, after a meeting with President Dilma Rousseff in the Alvorada Palace.

According to the judge, Lula's inauguration would pose a risk to ongoing investigations and is a "complex matter".

For Catta Preta Neto, "at least, in theory, let me repeat, this could point at acts or attempts at acts with criminal liability".

APPEAL

The Federal Attorney General, José Eduardo Cardozo, said the federal government will appeal the decision that suspended the appointment this very Thursday.

According to him, the initiative does not have legal backing, because another magistrate was already taking care of the process. "We are gaining knowledge of the situation in order to appeal today", the minister told Folha.

Considered one of the former president and Workers' Party member's greatest allies, the former head of cabinet Gilberto Carvalho said he believes the decision will be "overturned" and added that the federal government's adversaries' need to "stop trying to start coups".

According to him, the validity of Lula's appointment will be decided by the Federal Supreme Court and not by a "tribunal judge".

On another front, the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Federal Court (STF) on Thursday (17), requesting that ex-president Lula's appointment as Chief of Staff of Dilma Rousseff's administration be declared unconstitutional.

The party argues that President Dilma Rousseff used her position to manipulate the investigation forum for Lula, with the intention of pulling the findings that link the Workers' Party member from the hands of judge Sérgio Moro, who is responsible for the Lava Jato case in the Brazilian state of Paraná, and bringing it to the STF.

The PSB is asking that, if the appointment isn't nullified, the STF at least keep Lula's proceedings under Moro.

For the PSB there was a deflection of purpose in the appointment.

Translated by SUGHEY RAMIREZ

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