Ronaldinho released from custody after 5 months


Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto de Assis have been released from prison in Paraguay after a judge formally accepted a plea deal the defence team agreed upon earlier this month.

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The ex-Barcelona forward was arrested in March for entering the country with a false passport and, a month later, was placed under house arrest at a luxury hotel in the country’s capital, Asuncion, after paying bail of $800,000 each.

Ronaldinho told local authorities in a hearing that the passports were a gift from a Brazilian businessman, Wilmondes Sousa Lira, who was also jailed.

Ronaldinho and his brother had faced up to five years in jail if convicted.

The terms of the agreement include a guilty plea from the two brothers for entering Paraguay with fake passports and fines of $90,000 and $110,000, respectively, for Ronaldinho and Roberto.

Roberto agreed to a criminal record in Paraguay, but Ronaldinho’s record will be clean there.

The plea deal also stipulates that Ronaldinho can leave Brazil at any time, though he must tell Paraguayan officials how long he will be away. Roberto, however, will not be permitted to leave Brazil for two years.

Roberto must also present himself to a federal judge in Brazil every four months during a period of two years.