By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Ex-Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes was condemned to 22 years and three months in jail this week, but the sentence now runs the risk of being overturned by a motion made by the defense lawyers. The defense, led by lawyer Francisco Simim has submitted an appeal to cancel the jury’s decision.

Bruno looks down during his trial, Brazil News
Bruno Fernandes looks down during his trial, image recreation.

Mr. Simim claims that fragments of the case disappeared, and that judge was not being objective when conducting trial because of her criminal law background. Simim told O Globo: “This sentence should not have been given.”

Fernandes was accused of ordering his ex-girlfriend Eliza Samudio’s murder and kidnapping his own son in 2010. He confessed to knowing of what happened to her, but denied ordering his friends Macarrão, Bola and Nenem to kill her.

Ms. Samudio’s body was never found, but Fernandes shocked the court and Brazil by confessing that she was strangled, cut up and fed to his dogs – adding that he never meant for any of it to happen.

Though the goalkeeper was sentenced to 22 years in jail his defense believes that the sentence could be massively reduced for good behavior and leave the Penitenciária Nelson Hungria (Nelson Hungria Jail) in 2017.

Bruno Fernandes’ conviction was hardly a win for the prosecutors. District Attorney Henry Wagner Vasconcelos de Castro expected the maximum sentence of thirty years and intends to appeal to ask for a longer time in jail.

Though circumstances around the trial might still change, minister Eleonora Menicucci, of the Women Politics Bureau, thinks this case has been a step forward to fight violence against women. She congratulated the Minas Gerais court for its work and highlighted that Brazilian women must be able to feel safe in their country.

She said: “This is an attitude we are taking and a compromise we are making to defeat violence against Brazilian women. It is an urgent matter, all women have the right without being terrified of sexist and patriarchal violence. Women don’t accept any more rights violations, and Eliza who went to ask for what was her right – pension for her son – is an example of that.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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