Brazil's Bruno Fernandes jailed over ex-lover's murder

Eliza Samudio in August 2009 Ms Samudio went missing in June 2010

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Brazilian football star Bruno Fernandes has been given a 22-year prison sentence for ordering the murder of a former girlfriend.

He was also found guilty of hiding the body of Eliza Samudio and kidnapping their baby son in 2010.

The ex-Flamengo goalkeeper admitted to knowing that Ms Samudio had been strangled and her remains fed to dogs, but denied ordering the killing.

He said two other defendants in the case carried out the murder.

The murder has attracted intense media interest in Brazil where it has been compared to the OJ Simpson trial in the US.

Fernandes, who was hugely popular with fans, had been tipped to play for Brazil in the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals.

Complex case

One of his friends, Luiz Henrique Ferreira Romao, and a former policeman, Marcos Aparecido dos Santos, were also charged with Ms Samuido's murder.

She was killed after demanding that Fernandes pay child maintenance for their baby son, prosecutors said.

According to police reports, she was then strangled, her body cut up and parts were fed to dogs. It has never been recovered.

Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes in a file photo from May  Bruno Fernandes had been tipped to play in the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals

Last November, Romao was jailed for 15 years after admitting his involvement in the crime but maintained that Fernandes had ordered its execution.

Mr Santos is accused of torturing and dismembering the woman. He is yet to be sentenced.

Ms Samudio was lured to a hotel in Rio de Janeiro in June 2010 on the pretext of obtaining a DNA test to prove the married footballer was the father of her baby.

She and her son were then abducted and taken to Fernandes' home in Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais state.

The baby was found a fortnight later in the home of friends of Fernandes's ex-wife, Dayanne Rodrigues.

Ms Rodrigues, who was also arrested in connection with the case, has been acquitted on charges of abduction involvement in the plot.

Fernandes was jailed for four-and-a-half years in December 2010 after being found guilty in a separate trial of abducting and assaulting Ms Samudio the previous year.

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