ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Former soccer star Ronaldinho and his brother were taken in handcuffs to a courthouse in Paraguay on Saturday following their arrest for allegedly entering the country with falsified documents.
Prosecutors are seeking to extend the detention of 39-year-old Ronaldinho and brother Roberto Assis, while defense lawyer Sérgio Queiroz says they should be freed because they are not a threat or flight risk.
The Brazilian brothers were arrested Friday night in a hotel in Asunción, Paraguay’s capital.
Queiroz had said Ronaldinho, the 2002 World Cup winner and former Barcelona star, was preparing to take a flight back to Rio de Janeiro, where he lives, shortly before the arrests.
Ronaldinho and Assis had said they went to Asunción for business reasons.
The former footballer and his brother said the documents were offered as a gift by a Brazilian businessman, Wilmondes Sousa Liria, who has been jailed.
Last year, a Brazilian court upheld a decision to seize the passports of Ronaldinho and his brother because of a lawsuit over alleged environmental crimes. The suit was related to the illegal construction of a fishing platform and a berth on the shores of the Guaiba river in Ronaldinho’s hometown of Porto Alegre.