Brazilian goalkeeper guilty of murder back in prison after brief return to football

An earlier court decision had allowed Bruno Fernandes de Souza to sign for a second-division soccer club, causing a public uproar

Brazil’s Supreme Court has ordered the re-arrest of a professional footballer who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, then prematurely released and allowed to sign for a club.



Bruno Fernandes de Souza - who was an icon during his period as goalkeeper for Brazil’s most popular club Flamengo - handed himself in to police, ending two months of liberty that had generated fierce debate about the violence and misogyny of Latin America’s biggest country.

He has served less than a third of the 22-year sentence handed down by a lower court for ordering the 2010 killing of his former partner and the mother of his child, Eliza Samudio. But lawyers secured his release in February with a petition for habeas corpus because the country’s notoriously slow courts had failed for several years to rule on his appeal.

To the fury of the victim’s family and many women’s groups, Bruno - as he is best known - then signed a two-year contract with a second division football club Boa Esporte in Minas Gerais State.

Protesters staged demonstrations outside the ground, saying the club was endorsing femicide and the very high levels of violence against women in Brazil. Hackers posted denunciations on the club website. Several sponsors dropped out.

But he also had many supporters in the crowd, who chanted “Somos todos Bruno” (We are all Bruno) despite testimony heard during the trial that their hero had conspired with his friends to kill Samudio and feed her to his dogs.
Bruno Fernandes de Souza.
He played five games before the attorney general Rodrigo Janot successfully called for his release to be reversed because the defence’s legal team were partly to blame for the delays in his appeal.

Bruno turned himself in at a police station in Varginia, in the south of Minas Gerais. He is now being held in a detention centre in Santa Luiza.

Sônia Moura, mother of Eliza Samudio, said she glad to hear the news.

“I feel relieved because it was revolting the way he had come out of prison laughing,” she told local media.

The convict’s lawyer Lucio Adolfo told local media he would appeal. “Bruno is, like me, outraged and distressed,” he said. But he predicted the football contract would be rescinded.


guardian

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