Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil footballer Bruno Fernandes to return to jail over murder

Bruno Fernandes being escorted by police in 2010 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Bruno Fernandes being escorted by police in 2010

Brazilian footballer Bruno Fernandes has been ordered to return to jail to continue serving his 22-year-term for his role in the kidnapping and murder of his former girlfriend in 2010.

The ex-Flamengo goalkeeper has been released on parole pending an appeal after seven years in jail.

He admitted conspiring with friends who murdered Eliza Samudio and fed her body to dogs, but denied direct involvement.

His release sparked anger, particularly after he was hired by a football club.

On Tuesday, Brazil's Supreme Court said in a statement that it "has revoked its decision suspending his (Fernandes') imprisonment".

A court source said the footballer must return to custody "with immediate effect", AFP news agency reports.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Eliza Samudio was abducted from a hotel in Rio de Janeiro and strangled

Fernandes, better known as Bruno among football fans, was released in February.

His lawyers argued successfully that he could not be held in custody as the courts had failed to hear his appeal within the required time.

In March, Fernandes, 32, signed for Brazilian second division club Boa Esporte.

The signing triggered protests from fans and the withdrawal of several Boa Esporte sponsors.

In 2010, Bruno Fernandes was a successful goalkeeper and had been tipped to play for Brazil in the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals.

Brazilians were shocked at his arrest and subsequent confession that he knew that Ms Samudio had been strangled and her remains fed to his dogs.

Prosecutors said that Fernandes had had her killed to avoid paying child maintenance for their baby son.

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