Palocci, Rouseff
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (R) talks with her Chief of Staff Antonio Palocci during a signing ceremony of agreements for the construction and improvement of schools in 2011 REUTERS /Ueslei Marcelino

Brazil's former finance minister has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for corruption and money laundering.

Antonio Palocci was found guilty by a Brazilian court as part of the country' wide-ranging corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash, which has shaken the country's political and business elites.

Palocci served as finance minister to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva before becoming the right-hand man of his impeached successor, Dilma Rousseff, as chief of staff.

The former finance minister has offered to provide details about the kickback scheme surrounding state-controlled oil company Petrobras and construction giant Odebrecht.

He has offered to provide evidence to the sweeping corruption probe that could hurt Lula da Silva's chances of running in the 2018 election.

Lula da Silva is also facing corruption trials. He was Brazil's president from 2003 to 2010, and now leads the latest Datafolha a poll for the 2018 presidential vote.

But if the former president he is found guilty, he will be barred from running for public office.