Ronaldinho defense appeals pre-trial detention in fake passport case
Asuncion, Paraguay: Lawyers for Brazilian football great Ronaldinho have appealed his pre-trial detention and he will return to court next Tuesday, Paraguayan judicial sources said.
The 39-year-old World Cup winner and his brother, Roberto de Assis Moreira, have been held in a police cell since last Friday accused of entering Paraguay using fake passports.
Ronaldinho's lawyers insist that the magistrates who ordered the brothers' detention "exceeded their functions," making his jailing illegal.
Sixteen people have so far been implicated in the fake passport scandal, public prosecutor Federico Delfino said. On Tuesday, a court rejected a request from Ronaldinho's lawyers for conditional release on bail or house arrest.
The brothers arrived in Asuncion from Brazil last week and showed their passports to immigration police, who did not immediately notice any problem.
Hours later, when the passports were determined to be fake, investigators raided the football star's hotel room and seized the brothers' identity cards and travel documents.
Ronaldinho said the passports had been given to him by people who had invited him to attend conferences sponsored by charities working with disadvantaged children. - AFP