Brazilian football legend, Ronaldinho has been released after spending 5 months in jail over forged passport in Paraguay.
The brother to the former Barcelona Football star, Roberto de Assis Moreira, was also arrested for a month on the same charge and on house arrest for the remaining four months.
Ronaldinho and his brother both spent 32 days in the Paraguayan prison before they were released but on house arrest due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Judge Gustavo Amarilla,
The 40-year-old former 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 a period of one year. He has no restrictions except for the fulfillment of reparations for damage to society.”
Ronaldinho however, accepted the terms of his release, which include payment of $90,000 in damages while is brother, who is also his business manager, must pay $110,000 in damages.
The judge explained 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 was also given a two-year suspended sentence.
Prosecutors believe Ronaldinho had no idea about the fake Paraguayan passports but they said his brother de Assis Moreira was likely aware that the passports were false.
Before Monday’s trial the public prosecutor said that Ronaldinho displayed no “personal characteristics or criminal behavior that would put society at risk.
“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.
Ronaldiho’s Brother De Assis Moreira must appear before a judge in Brazil every four months for two years and will have a criminal record.
“Ronaldinho’s situation is not the same as Roberto’s. He has no obligation to appear before any Brazilian judicial authority. He must only report a change of address,” said Amarilla, who accepted a recommendation by four prosecutors to avoid the need for an oral trial.
The investigation has since expanded into a case of possible money laundering.
Some 18 people have already been arrested in connection with the case, most of them immigration officials or police officers.