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Brazil Supreme Court suspends Federal Police nomination

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily suspended the contentious appointment of the new director general of the Federal Police, delivering a fresh blow to the Brazilian leader.

The abrupt removal of the former federal police chief in the midst of a health crisis and the nomination of Alexandre Ramagem, who is considered to be close to the Bolsonaro family, had prompted concern that he would give them undue preferential treatment at a time when at least one of the president’s sons is reportedly under investigation.

The ouster of the former police chief had led to the resignation of Bolsonaro’s highly popular justice minister, Sérgio Moro, who alleged political interference, pitching the administration into political turmoil.

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In his decision, Justice Alexandre de Moraes said that “the Federal Police is not an intelligence agency for the Presidency.”

The case will now go to the federal prosecutors’ office, before being examined jointly by all 11 justices.

Following Moro’s accusations, the Supreme Court on Monday authorized an investigation into whether Bolsonaro committed crimes by allegedly attempting to interfere with the country’s Federal Police.