An international arrest warrant has been issued for former Brazil international Robinho, who is due to commence a nine-year prison sentence after seeing his appeal against his rape conviction rejected by an Italian court
An international arrest warrant has been issued by a Milan prosecutor for former Real Madrid and Manchester City star Robinho after he was sentenced to nine years in prison for rape.
In January, the Court of Cassation in Rome rejected an appeal from the former Brazil international and Ricardo Falco – a friend of the former player – relating to the incident, which occurred in 2013.
Robinho was convicted of rape in 2017 with a nine-year jail sentence handed down by the courts but his appeal process with the Italian courts had been ongoing in the years since.
The former player continually rejected claims that he took part in a gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman at the Sio Cafe nightclub in Milan in January 2013.
January’s decision from the court in Rome was a final sentence with no room for further appeals with the sentence to begin immediately.
As per La Repubblica in Italy, the Italian justice system has now requested the extradition of both Robinho and Falco from Brazil, although the Brazilian constitution vetoes the extradition of Brazilians.
Robinho’s defence lawyer in Italy, Franco Moretti, is quoted as saying that the Brazilian is waiting for “the reasons for the sentence of the Cassation.”
Moretti added: “I have no further information. I have no official knowledge of the requests of the Milan Public Prosecutor, I await the reasons for the verdict of the Cassation to understand the reasons for the sentence.”
Jacopo Gnocchi, the prosecuting lawyer acting on behalf of the accused, said: “We have learned that the Milan Public Prosecutor has forwarded an extradition request to the Brazilian authorities, through the Ministry of Justice.
“The problem therefore becomes one of a diplomatic and political nature.
“My client does not care if Robinho will serve the sentence in Italy or Brazil: the important thing is that justice is done until the end and that the sentence, now final, is respected.”
Four other Brazilians were denounced for having participated in the act, but as they had already left Italy in the course of the investigations, they were not notified of the conclusion of the investigations and therefore were not prosecuted – their cases have been suspended but may be reopened.
In October 2020, Brazilian outlet UOL reported that the sentence has been upheld by the Italian Court of Appeal after the judge dismissed an appeal from the defence which attempted to disqualify the victim on account of photos of her drinking alcohol on the night of the incident.
At that time, Brazil’s Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves, told reporters: “Prison immediately, I have no more to say.
“There is still an appeal, but…What more do you want? Prison. No rapist can be applauded.”
Robinho was a player for Milan at the time of the incident, and it was ruled that he and five other Brazilian men raped the woman after plying her with alcohol in a discotheque in the Italian city.
In 2017 as part of the judgement, the court ordered the victim to receive €60,000 (£53,431.02) as compensation for her suffering.
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Robinho, now aged 38, played for Milan between 2010-2015 and continued his playing career up until 2020 – three years after he was initially convicted, pending the subsequent appeal process which has now concluded.
The Brazilian played for Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015 before spending two years at Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro, whom he represented at the time of the initial sentence.
He would go on to spend four years in Turkish football across spells with Sivasspor and Istanbul Basaksehir before returning to Brazil in 2020 to sign for Santos – where he had begun his career.
Robinho did not play a game for the Brazilian club during his second stint amid the ongoing appeals process and he subsequently retired from football.