São Paulo

Court decides: Robinho must serve rape sentence in Brazil


Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice decided on Wednesday (Mar. 20), with a vote of 9 to 2, that former football player Robson de Souza, also known as Robinho, must serve a nine-year prison sentence in Brazil for the crime of gang rape to which he was sentenced in Italy.

According to the ruling, once the approval process concludes at the Superior Court of Justice, Robinho must be arrested in Santos, the coastal city in the state of São Paulo where he resides. Despite this, the former player still has the option to appeal to the Federal Supreme Court using a habeas corpus or an extraordinary appeal.

“I see no constitutional or legal impediment to approving the requested transfer of the sentence by the Italian Court,” stated Justice Francisco Falcão, the rapporteur of the case and the first to vote.

Falcão argued that since the Constitution prohibits the extradition of native Brazilians, transferring the sentence is the only viable option. “When extradition is not an option, transferring the execution of the sentence is necessary to prevent impunity based on the individual’s nationality,” he emphasized.

“Arguing that a penalty imposed in a foreign case cannot be enforced here is equivalent to advocating for the defendant’s impunity for the committed crime, which is unacceptable and would violate the international commitments assumed by Brazil,” Falcão emphasized.

Atacante Robinho durante treino do Guangzhou Evergrande

The former player was sentenced to nine years in prison – Reuters/Toru Hanai/Rights reserved

The rapporteur highlighted that the Brazilian legal system prevents an individual from being tried twice for the same crime. Therefore, failing to transfer the sentence to Brazil would lead to impunity.

“If the transfer of the sentence’s execution is not approved, the victim’s dignity will once again be violated, as the perpetrator would remain completely unpunished, given that a new criminal action cannot be initiated in Brazil,” stated Falcão.

The other 8 justices voted as the rapporteur did, including Mauro Campbell, who emphasized in his vote that “Brazil cannot be a refuge for criminals.”

The Justices of the Superior Court of Justice did not assess the evidence or merits of the Italian Court’s decision. However, they judged whether all legal requirements were fulfilled for the prison sentence to be served in Brazil, as requested by Italy.

The crime occurred in a Milan nightclub in 2013, as indicated by court records. Robinho’s conviction was upheld in three instances in Italy and has become final, meaning that no further appeals are possible within the Italian judiciary.



Ebc

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