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Ronaldinho released from house arrest in Paraguay

Retired Brazilian star Ronaldinho was released from house arrest on Monday after spending five months detained in Paraguay for entering the country with a false passport.

Paraguayan judge Gustavo Amarilla handed down a suspended sentence of two years in prison for Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto de Assis Moreira, and granted their release. The brothers will also have to pay a fine of $200,000 (£151,700) between the two of them.Both were arrested last March for possession and use of false Paraguayan passports with which they entered the country to conduct business activities.

The Brazil international was earlier released from a high-security jail in Paraguay but ordered to serve house arrest at a luxury hotel while he was investigated.

Ronaldinho will be able to return to Brazil immediately. Defence attorneys Tarek Tuma and Alcides Cceres said their clients will establish residence in Rio de Janeiro.

Ronaldinho, a world champion with Brazil in 2002 and a former star of Barcelona, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, among other clubs, turned 40 in Paraguay.

He came to the country invited by a local foundation, supposedly to present his autobiography, support a school for poor children and inaugurate a casino.

Prosecutor Marcelo Pecci said Ronaldinho and his brother received a shortened legal process because they admitted having had official Paraguayan legal documents but of false content and because they litigated in good faith.

Ronaldinho told local authorities the document was a gift from a Brazilian businessman, who was also jailed.