Tue, 22 Sep 2020

Ronaldinho set for release after plea deal

Xinhua
08 Aug 2020, 11:51 GMT+10

ASUNCION, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto Assis could be released from custody within days after striking a plea deal with Paraguayan investigators on Friday.

Paraguay's public prosecutor's office asked for proceedings against the men to be suspended pending a final court hearing, according to their lawyer Sergio Queiroz.

Ronaldinho and Assis have been detained since early March for allegedly entering the South American country with fake passports.

In April, the pair were relocated to the four-star Palmaroga Hotel in the capital Asuncion after agreeing to pay 1.6 million U.S. dollars in bail.

"It was recognized by the public prosecutor's office that there is no crime of a financial or related nature in relation to Ronaldo and Roberto," Queiroz said.

"After five long months, they have demonstrated exactly what we defended since the beginning: the use of altered public documents without the knowledge of the defendants."

Under terms of the plea bargain, Ronaldinho agreed to a 90,000 US dollar fine and must report to a federal judge in Brazil every three months for two years.

Assis was ordered to pay 110,000 dollars and will not be allowed to leave Brazil over a two-year period.

Ronaldinho and Assis traveled to Paraguay on March 4 to participate in a children's charity event and promote a new book. They were arrested later that day on accusations of using fake passports.

The pair have denied any wrongdoing and said they were presented with the documents as a "gift" upon arriving in Asuncion.

Ronaldinho retired from football in 2018 after a career that included spells at Gremio, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Milan and Atletico Mineiro, among other clubs. He was a part of the Brazil team that won the 2002 World Cup and was twice voted the FIFA world player of the year.

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