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Brazilian Court Upholds Meirelles' Cabinet Minister Status

Henrique Meirelles

The Brazilian Supreme Court has upheld the cabinet minister status of Central Bank President Henrique Meirelles, a ruling that means he is immune from possible prosecution in the country's lower courts.

The judges issued the seven-to-four ruling Thursday, saying President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's order last year to grant Mr. Meirelles ministerial status was constitutional. Ministerial status means the 59-year-old Central Bank president can only be tried in the Supreme Court.

Last month, Brazil's chief public prosecutor asked the high court to investigate allegations Mr. Meirelles failed to fully report his assets on his tax return and illegally transferred funds abroad.

Mr. Meirelles, who took office in 2003, has denied the accusations.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and Bloomberg.