A federal judge on Thursday suspended the nomination of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to a Cabinet-level post in the government, citing suspicion of obstruction of justice. Earlier this week, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff named Lula as her Chief-of-Staff. Lula was to have taken office later Thursday but his swearing in is now on hold. A spokesman for Rousseff said the government will appeal the injunction. By assuming the role of Presidential Chief-of-Staff, Lula would gain limited immunity from prosecution. Lula is currently under investigation for alleged influence-peddling and money laundering. A federal judge in Brasília, in issuing the ruling, said the manner and timing of Lula’s nomination raised suspicion that Rousseff was attempting to shield her predecessor from prosecution.
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