Rio de Janeiro : An appeals court has authorised Brazil's judiciary to issue an arrest warrant against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The order on Thursday has come just hours after the Federal Supreme Court rejected a habeas corpus motion to spare Lula from having to begin a 12-year prison sentence until he had exhausted his appeals process, Xinhua news agency reported.
The court, based in southern Brazil's Porto Alegre, paved the way for Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who has been leading Operation Car Wash, a wide-reaching investigation into corruption involving state oil giant Petrobras, to order Lula's arrest.
Last year, Moro convicted Lula for accepting perks from a major construction firm that won lucrative government contracts, including the use of a luxury beachside apartment.
Lula's original 9.5-year sentence was extended to 12 years by an appeals court in January.