BRASÍLIA - A Brazilian judge on Thursday suspended the nomination of a key ally of President Michel Temer to a ministerial post, shortly after a court overturned an earlier ruling to the same effect, in a move set to further stoke tensions between the executive and the judiciary.
Federal Judge Regina Coeli Formisano ruled Temer's promotion of Wellington Moreira Franco, the current infrastructure investment secretary, to a Cabinet-level position appeared designed to protect him from prosecution in all tribunals except for the Supreme Court.
It could not be ignored, Formisano wrote, that Moreira Franco had reportedly been named in plea bargain testimony that linked him to the giant corruption scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras.
The judge's move came shortly after another court overturned a ruling by a different federal judge on Wednesday to block Moreira Franco's appointment to the ministerial post in which he would oversee infrastructure, communications and ceremonies.
The Attorney General's office said in a statement it will appeal Formisano's ruling.
On Wednesday night, it stated Moreira Franco's promotion was legal and not aimed at protecting him from future prosecution.