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7 Mar, 2020 13:17

Ronaldinho ARRESTED as judge rejects prosecutor's recommendation to release Brazilian superstar over fake passport claims

Ronaldinho ARRESTED as judge rejects prosecutor's recommendation to release Brazilian superstar over fake passport claims

Former Brazil and Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho was taken into custody in Paraguay after being accused of attempting to enter the country using fake paperwork.

Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto Assis had initially been held and questioned by prosecutors, who recommended the pair be released without charge after stating he believed they had been tricked into accepting fake passports ahead of their arrival in the capital, Asuncion.

Prosecutor Roberto Delfino had recommended that, after the pair had completed their obligations with the local authorities, they be released to return home to Brazil having paid a fine, potentially in the form of a charitable donation.

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But a judge disagreed with Defino's assessment and rejected his recommendation, with a senior public prosecutor tearing up a potential deal that would have let Ronaldinho and his brother walk free. Arrest warrants were subsequently raised and the two men were taken into custody.

Gilberto Fleitas, the head of the investigations unit of the Paraguayan police, told news agency Reuters that Ronaldinho and his brother were taken into custody just hours after a judge threw out Delfino'sproposal for an alternative punishment.

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"The detention order has been carried out," said Fleitas.

A lawyer representing Ronaldinho denied the allegations against his client and his brother, who were believed to have been in Paraguay following an invitation from a local casino owner, and were set to attend an event run by a local children's charity, as well as a book launch for the Brazilian star's upcoming publication.

Now it remains unclear what punishment could follow for the 2002 World Cup winner, who had previously seen his Brazilian and Spanish passports confiscated last year over issues related to unpaid taxes.

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