Paraguayan Judge Refuses Bail For Ronaldinho.

Brazilian football great Ronaldinho will remain in pre-trial detention in Paraguay after a judge on Tuesday rejected his lawyer’s request that he be released on bail or to house arrest.

The 39-year-old World Cup winner and his brother Roberto were arrested on Friday, accused of being in possession of fake Paraguayan passports. “The judge rejected the defense’s request for conditional release or house arrest,” said prosecutor Osmar Legal. Judge Gustavo Amarilla cited the seriousness of the case and the discovery of new evidence, as well as the involvement of public officials and business people who facilitated Ronaldinho’s arrival in Paraguay.

Those factors meant the former footballer needed to be kept in Asuncion “so that there is no obstruction to the investigation,” he said. Amarilla acknowledged the measures taken against the brothers were harsh but said it was his “responsibility not to hinder an investigation,” which could be the case if the suspects “were to flee” the country.

Legal said he opposed house arrest because the property offered as a guarantee was only valued at $750,000 to $800,000. “It’s a tiny amount given the economic solvency of one of the” accused, he said. Ronaldinho and his brother are spending a fifth day in a police cell in Asuncion.

About Peter Okiokpa

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