Crime & Justice

Ronaldinho finds fans’ support after release from Paraguay detention

Asuncion, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- Supporters received ex-soccer player Ronaldinho Gaúcho and his brother Roberto on Monday in a luxurious hotel in downtown Asuncion after being granted freedom following six months of detention for the use of fake Paraguayan passports.

The resolution took place in a preliminary hearing in a room of the Palace of Justice to which they had been summoned after the request of the Prosecutor’s Office to conditionally suspend the pair’s cases.

After hearing the decision of Judge Amarilla, Ronaldinho approached to greet the prosecutors of his case, with a fist bump as established by the anti-coronavirus protocols.

The Brazilian former soccer star and his brother Roberto, who in other court appearances had been attentive to the local press and his followers, left the Palace of Justice in a high-end car with tinted windows.

Both were escorted by a National Police patrol to the Hotel Palmaroga, in the historic center of Asunción, where they have been detained since the beginning of April and which has been closed to the public since the appearance of the coronavirus.

However, groups of people who wanted to greet or see Ronaldinho gathered in the hotel’s cafeteria.

The fans of the former Brazilian player came with shirts for Ronaldinho to sign, while the hotel staff took care of receiving them.

Another of his followers came with a painting in which Ronaldinho appeared, also as a gift for the player.

The brothers are scheduled Tuesday to leave Paraguay on a charter flight, according to the adviser for International Affairs of the Presidency, Federico González, who is in charge of managing repatriations during the pandemic.

Both would spend the last of their nights at the Palmaroga, where they have been staying since Apr. 14 after paying a joint bond of 1.6 million dollars.

The brothers arrived Mar 4 in Asuncion after traveling from Sao Paulo with Brazilian documentation, but while clearing immigration they exhibited Paraguayan passports and identification cards that were later discovered to have been tampered with.

Ronaldinho had promised to lend his image to a project of free medical assistance to Paraguayan children organized by a foundation chaired by businesswoman Dalia López.

The businesswoman, who picked up the two brothers at the capital’s airport, is a fugitive with an international arrest warrant.

The arrest of the two brothers led to charges against a score of people, among them managers, immigration officials and the National Police Identification Directorate. EFE-EPA


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