SAO PAULO – Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is a step closer to prison.
A panel of judges on Brazil's Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday rejected da Silva's request for an injunction that would prevent him from being imprisoned as he appeals a corruption conviction.
A group of federal judges upheld the conviction in January and Brazilian law states that people should be arrested after such a ruling.
The former president can still appeal Tuesday's ruling to the country's top court, the Superior Federal Tribunal.
Da Silva was wildly popular during his 2003-2011 term and is the front-runner for the 2018 presidential election.
He denies any wrongdoing and insists he's being persecuted by those trying to prevent his election.