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Brazil great and World Cup winner Ronaldinho and his brother have been detained in Paraguay for five months © AFP/File Norberto DUARTE

Football

Paraguayan hearing into Ronaldinho’s fake passport opens

ASUNCION, Paraguay, Aug 24 – After six months under arrest in Paraguay, former Brazil football star Ronaldinho was set for a hearing on Monday on charges of travelling with false documents, according to judicial sources.

Judge Gustavo Amarilla is due to start the hearing in Asuncion at 14:00 local time (1800 GMT). Ronaldinho’s brother Roberto has also been charged.

The public prosecutor’s office has recommended Ronaldinho pay a $90,000 fine for “damage to society” and is freed to return to Brazil where the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain player would also be expected to appear before a judge every three months for a year.

“There is no indication that he has any personal characteristics or criminal behaviour that…would put society at risk,” the prosecutor said.

Prosecutors have recommended that Roberto pay a $110,000 fine and appear before a judge every three months for two years.

Prosecutors do not believes Ronaldinho took part in the plan to manufacture the fake Paraguayan passports. They do think Roberto was aware that the passports were false.

Ronaldinho and Roberto, in Paraguay to promote a book, were arrested on March 6.

After being held in a police station in Asuncion, where the 2005 Ballon d’Or celebrated his 40th birthday on March 21, the two men have been under house arrest for almost five months in a luxury hotel in the capital, on bail of $1.6 million.

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Some 18 people have already been arrested in connection with the case, most of them immigration officials or police officers.

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