Former Brazil football star Ronaldinho on Monday was released by a Paraguayan judge after spending five months in detention over a forged passport.
Judge Gustavo Amarilla also released Ronaldinho’s brother, Roberto de Assis Moreira, who likewise had been held for a month in jail and another four months under house arrest in a hotel in Paraguay’s capital, Asuncion, for the same charge.
The 40-year-old former FIFA World Cup winner “is free to travel to whatever country in the world he wants, but he must inform us if he changes his permanent residence” for one year, Amarilla said.
“He has no restrictions except for the fulfillment of reparations for damage to society,” the judge said.
Ronaldinho accepted the terms of his release, which include payment of US$90,000 in damages. His brother, who is also his business manager, must pay US$110,000.
The judge said that he was not issuing a “definitive dismissal” of the case, but rather that Ronaldinho was benefitting from a “conditional suspension of the procedure.”
His brother, on the other hand, was given a two-year suspended sentence.
Prosecutors said they did not believe Ronaldinho took part in the plan to manufacture the fake Paraguayan passports, but believed De Assis Moreira was aware that the passports were false.
“They flagrantly used a public document containing false content,” said Marcelo Pecci, one of the public prosecutors, who said it was a “very serious” offense.
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