April 17th, 2024

Brazilian high court to decide if Robinho will serve prison sentence for rape

By Mauricio Savarese, The Associated Press on March 20, 2024.

SAO PAULO (AP) – Judges of a Brazilian high court started voting Wednesday on whether former soccer star Robinho can be jailed in his home nation for his 2017 rape conviction in Italy.

The 40-year-old Robinho was sentenced in Italy to nine years in prison for his part in a group sexual assault in 2013 when the striker played for AC Milan.

Brazil doesn’t extradite nationals, which led Italy to seek his imprisonment in his home nation.

One of the elements to be decided by Brazil’s superior court of justice – a 15-judge panel in the capital Brasilia – is whether Robinho fits into the South American nation’s immigration law approved in 2017.

Robinho’s lawyer, José Eduardo Alckmin, told the court at the start of Wednesday’s hearing that his client wants a retrial in Brazil on the grounds of national sovereignty.

The first judge to vote, Francisco Falcão, said Robinho should serve his sentence in Brazil. He added that the former player cannot go unpunished and that diplomatic friction between Brazil and Italy could emerge if the sentence is not served.

“There’s no obstacle to validate the execution of his sentence. It was confirmed by a court in Milan, which is the competent authority in this case,” Falcão said. “The conviction is final. The defendant was not put on trial in absence in Italy, he had representation.”

Robinho, a former Brazil international who also played for Real Madrid and Manchester City, has the right to appeal to the country’s Supreme Court.

Robinho lives in Santos, outside Sao Paulo. He relinquished his passport to Brazilian authorities in March 2023. He continues to deny any wrongdoing and insists his sexual relations with the woman at a Milan bar were consensual.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer

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