BRASILIA, March 17 (Reuters) - A federal judge in Brasilia issued an injunction on Thursday suspending the appointment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as minister, citing the risk that his taking office would derail a judicial investigation.
Prosecutors have charged Lula with money laundering and fraud as part of a sweeping graft probe centred on state oil company Petrobras. His appointment as minister, which would provide him immunity from prosecution by all but the Supreme Court, sparked protests on Wednesday.
"In light of the risk of harming the free exercise of judicial power...I grant the request for an injunction to suspend the nomination of Mr. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva," the judge wrote in his ruling, obtained by Reuters. (Reporting by Leonardo Goy and Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Caroline Stauffer)