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SAO PAULO/BRASILIA: Brazilian judges ruled on Wednesday to uphold former AC Milan and Brazil striker Robinho’s rape conviction, adding that he must serve his nine-year prison sentence in Brazil.

The trial in Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice (STJ), the country’s top court for non-constitutional matters, had a majority rule that Italy’s decision was valid in Brazil.

A Milan court in 2017 found Robinho and five other Brazilians guilty of gang raping a woman in 2013 after plying her with alcohol in a discotheque.

The conviction was confirmed by an appeals court in 2020 and validated by Italy’s Supreme Court in 2022.

The 40-year-old Robinho, whose full name is Robson de Souza, lives in Brazil and has always denied the charges.

Brazil does not usually extradite its citizens, so Italy requested last year that Robinho should serve his prison sentence in his home country.

Robinho’s attorney Jose Eduardo Alckmin said after the trial that Robinho would surrender to authorities when officially notified about the decision.

The Brazilian court did not reopen discussions about the rape conviction, focusing only on seeing if the sentence in Italy was valid in Brazil.

However, Robinho said in an interview broadcast on Sunday by a local TV station that he hoped the court would look at the merit of the Italian case.

“I was unfairly convicted in Italy for something that did not occur,” he said.

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