A Brazilian Supreme Court justice has lashed out at a lower court judge who released tapped phone calls of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and is at least temporarily removing him from any investigation of Silva.

Tuesday's ruling by Teori Zavascki is a victory for the embattled former leader, though it stops short of allowing him to become chief of staff to his successor, President Dilma Rousseff. That Cabinet post would make it harder to investigate Silva for possible corruption.

Zavascki says the judge overseeing a massive probe corruption at the Petrobras oil company erred by releasing the tapped conversations. Judge Sergio Moro said they suggested Silva was attempting to curry favor with prominent public figures. Moro earlier had summoned Silva for questioning in the corruption investigation.