Brazil's justice minister has questioned the authenticity of leaked personal messages published by a news website that appear to show him when he was still a judge improperly advising prosecutors in a case against ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The Intercept posted purported chats between then-judge Sergio Moro and ex-prosecutor Carlos Dos Santos Lima in which Moro offers strategy advice to the prosecutor in the corruption case against da Silva. According to the website, the conversation suggests Moro acted "as an informal coordinator" of the prosecution in the process that led to da Silva's conviction for receiving a beachfront apartment as a bribe.

Moro later became justice minister in President Jair Bolsonaro's government.

The Justice Ministry, led by Moro, said it did not recognize the authenticity of the messages.