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Brazil's President Michel Temer (L) greets the Minister of the General Secretary of the Presidency of Brazil, Wellington Moreira Franco during the inauguration ceremony of new Ministers, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado(reuters_tickers)
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Brazilian federal judge suspended the nomination of a close ally of President Michel Temer to a ministry-level position, according to the court's website on Wednesday.
The promotion of Wellington Moreira Franco, who has reportedly been named in the country's massive corruption investigation, sparked controversy because it shields him from investigation from any court other than the Supreme Court.
Moreira Franco has denied there was a political motivation behind his promotion. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision.
Judge Eduardo Rocha Penteado noted in his decision that Moreira Franco had been appointed to a ministerial post just three days after the Supreme Court approved the plea bargain statements in which he is reportedly named.
Penteado cited the precedence of Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes who last year suspended the nomination of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to a ministerial position after he was named in the corruption scandal.
(Reporting by Eduardo Simoes; Editing by Bill Trott and Diane Craft)