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Brazilian goalkeeper given 22-year jail term for murder

Brazilian goalkeeper given 22-year jail term for murderRio de Janeiro, March 9 : Brazilian goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes de Souza has been sentenced to 22 years in jail for ordering the murder of estranged girlfriend Eliza Samudio in 2010.

The ex-Flamengo player was found guilty by a jury of five women and two men at a court in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais state Friday. He was also convicted of hiding the model's body and kidnapping the couple's son, reports Xinhua.

Despite admitting to knowing that Samudio had been strangled and her remains fed to dogs, Fernandes denied ordering the assassination. Defence lawyers said they would appeal the decision.

Fernandes had already been convicted of kidnapping Samudio and forcing her to terminate her pregnancy for which he had served a prison term of four years and six months.

"I expected more. They made it easy on him," the victim's mother, Eliza Silva Samudio, said.

The judge said Fernandes' sentence was reduced due to his confession. The 28-year-old was captain of the Flamengo outfit that won the Brazil Serie A title in 2009 and was reportedly a contender for a berth in Brazil's national team.

"These crimes received a lot of attention not only because one of the defendants was a famous football player but also because of the plot that they involved and because of the mystery of where the victim's remains were hidden," Judge Marixa Fabiane Lopes Rodrigues said.(IANS)