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Brazil's Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes leaves the Justice Palace in Brasilia, Brazil February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado


BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's President Michel Temer has picked Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes as his nominee to the Supreme Court, a government source said on Monday, in a move that would place a close ally on the tribunal as it rules on a major graft scandal.

A photo taken by Reuters had earlier shown Moraes confirming his nomination in a cellphone text conversation. Moraes, whose appointment needs to be ratified by the Senate, would replace justice Teori Zavascki, who was killed in a plane cash on Jan. 20.

The 11-member court is expected to decide the fate of scores of senior politicians, including some of Temer's closest aides, who are under investigation for alleged involvement in the Latin American country's biggest-ever corruption case.

(Reporting by Adriano Machado and Alonso Soto; Editing by Daniel Flynn)