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Robinho awaits his fate after serving nine years in prison for rape in Brazil – Firstpost

Brazilian courts will decide on Wednesday whether former Manchester City and Real Madrid striker Robinho will serve his nine-year prison sentence for rape, handed down by an Italian court, in this South American country.

The Superior Court of Justice of Brazil (STJ) will consider the Italian request to approve the prison sentence handed down in 2017 and ratified in 2022.

“I hope that here in Brazil I can have the voice that I didn’t have there,” Robinho, who proclaimed his innocence, said on Sunday in an interview with Brazilian channel TV Record.

Robson de Souza, better known as “Robinho”, remains free despite his conviction for being part of a group of six men who gang-raped a young Albanian woman as she celebrated her 23rd birthday in a Milan nightclub in 2013.

Former Brazilian international Robinho was playing with his club for AC Milan at the time.

His conviction was upheld by Italy’s highest court, after which Italian prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant.

However, Brazil does not extradite its nationals and Italy has requested that Robinho serve his sentence in his home country.

On Sunday, Robinho accused Italian justice of “racism”.

“It was consensual,” Robinho told TV Record.

“I never denied it (the meeting). I could have denied it because my DNA wasn’t there, but I’m not a liar.

“I played for four years in Italy and I was tired of seeing stories about racism. These are the same people who do nothing against racism, whom I repudiate, who condemned me.

If the judgment was unfavorable to him, the forty-year-old could remain free while awaiting an appeal to the Supreme Court of Brazil.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he hoped Robinho could “serve” his sentence on Brazilian soil.

“Unprecedented case”

According to Brazilian media, magistrates are expected to approve the Italian request.

“Approval is not common, as the law authorizing it is relatively new. This would be an unprecedented case in Brazil,” lawyer Leonardo Pantaleao told AFP.

Meanwhile, Robinho’s case and that of former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain defender Dani Alves have sparked criticism over the failure of football authorities in Brazil to condemn violence against women.

In February, former Brazilian international fullback Alves, 40, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

The case was met with silence from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the player’s former clubs and former teammates.

Former Brazil coach Tite said he could not “make a judgment without having all the true facts and information” on the matter.

For Robinho, it was a dramatic fall from grace.

Having started his career at Santos, a team made famous by the great Brazilian Pelé, Robinho was touted as the successor to the golden generation of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.

In 2005, Robinho left Santos to join Zinedine Zidane, his international teammate Ronaldo and David Beckham at Real Madrid.

But despite playing for major European teams and winning two Confederations Cups – in 2005 and 2009 – and a Copa America in 2007, Robinho has only shown his talent intermittently.

In 2009, he was briefly detained in England for an alleged sexual assault on a young woman, but the charges against him were dropped after an investigation.

He returned to Santos in 2020, but the club suspended the deal following pressure from fans, sponsors and media, leading to the abrupt end of his career.

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