CONFLICTS

Brazil's ex-president denies trying to obstruct graft probe

  • Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks at the opening of the Rural Workers National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, March 13, 2017. Lula is expected to testify before a federal judge on Tuesday in the "The Car Wash" bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks at the opening of the Rural Workers National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, March 13, 2017. Lula is expected to testify before a federal judge on Tuesday in the "The Car Wash" bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gives a thumbs up as he arrives for the opening of the Rural Workers National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, March 13, 2017. Lula is expected to testify before a federal judge on Tuesday in the "The Car Wash" bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gives a thumbs up as he arrives for the opening of the Rural Workers National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, March 13, 2017. Lula is expected to testify before a federal judge on Tuesday in the "The Car Wash" bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this March 13, 2017 photo, Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva looks during an event with rural workers in Brasilia, Brazil. Brazil's former president has denied in court on March 14, that he was part of a plot to obstruct a massive corruption probe by keeping a former executive-turned-state's evidence from revealing what he knew. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    In this March 13, 2017 photo, Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva looks during an event with rural workers in Brasilia, Brazil. Brazil's former president has denied in court on March 14, that he was part of a plot to obstruct a massive corruption probe by keeping a former executive-turned-state's evidence from revealing what he knew. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)  (The Associated Press)

Brazil's former president has appeared in court to deny allegations he was part of a plot to obstruct a massive corruption probe by keeping a former oil company executive from revealing what he knew.

News media websites in Brazil published Tuesday's testimony by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who told a federal court in Brasilia that he didn't even know Nestor Cervero, a former director of state oil company Petrobras.

Petrobras is at the center of a wide-ranging investigation into kickbacks and inflated contracts at state companies. Cervero was convicted in connection with the probe and is cooperating with prosecutors.

Prosecutors allege that Silva and several others plotted to offer Cervero money to keep him from giving evidence to authorities.