Court releases Ronaldinho into house arrest in Asuncion hotel

  • Wednesday 08, April 2020 03:51 PM
  • Court releases Ronaldinho into house arrest in Asuncion hotel
Sharjah24 – AFP: A Paraguayan judge on Tuesday ordered the release of Brazilian football great Ronaldinho and his brother into house arrest while they await trial on charges of using false passports to enter the country.
Judge Gustavo Amarilla told reporters that he had ordered the "continuation of house arrest in a hotel for Ronaldinho and his brother."

The pair were jailed one month ago to await trial, but their lawyers have posted bail of $1.6 million.

Ronaldinho, considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, was a star of Brazil's 2002 World Cup win and played for European giants Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, among others.

The ruling means the brothers can swap their grim police cell block, which has also housed Paraguay's former soccer federation chief and the ex-speaker of the lower house of parliament, for a plush colonial-style hotel in downtown Asuncion.

"I have the assurance of the hotel managers that they, at their own expense, can observe house arrest there," Amarilla told a news conference.

Paraguay's appeals court last month rejected a request to release the pair, meaning the two-time world player of the year spent his 40th birthday behind bars.

With Paraguay's capital on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the judge communicated his ruling in a cell phone call to the brothers, with prosecutors and defence lawyers, and TV cameras, present. The judge and many others wore face masks as a precaution against the virus.

A beaming Ronaldinho, in a black T-shirt and matching headband, gave a thumbs up sign to show he understood the terms of his release.