UPDATE 3-Brazil's Lula likely to take cabinet position - source

martes 15 de marzo de 2016 00:03 GYT

(Recasts with likelihood of Lula joining cabinet, paragraphs 1-2, 5-6, 15)

By Caroline Stauffer and Lisandra Paraguassu

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA, March 14 (Reuters) - Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will likely accept a position in President Dilma Rousseff's cabinet but plans to travel to Brasilia on Tuesday to discuss his options with her in person, a source said on Monday.

Brazil's top three papers also reported late on Monday that Lula was expected to accept a ministerial position in the coming days, after a crusading federal judge was given jurisdiction to rule over money laundering charges presented against him.

Any decision to arrest Lula would now be made by Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who oversees a sweeping investigation into kickbacks at state-run oil firm Petrobras and approved the detention of dozens of senior executives.

State prosecutors filed for the arrest of Lula last week after charging him with money laundering for concealing ownership of a beachfront condo, in a case that had been separate from the investigation overseen by Moro in the southern city of Curitiba.

Accepting a cabinet position would give Lula immunity from Moro, though not from Brazil's Supreme Court. The source said Lula, Rousseff's predecessor and political mentor, was nearly convinced he should take the position.

It was not yet decided whether he should be Rousseff's chief of staff or replace the minister in charge of legislative affairs, Ricardo Berzoini, the source said.

Sao Paulo Judge Maria Priscilla Oliveira said in a decision on Monday the state prosecutors' case had an "undeniable connection" to the Petrobras investigation, in which dozens of engineering executives schemed to siphon money from Petrobras in order to bribe public officials.   Continuación...