Multimillion-euro racketeering attempts, threatening video, pressure… The implications of the extortion denounced by footballer Paul Pogba are beginning to take shape with the deferral of his older brother Mathias Pogba and four men, two of whom have already was jailed on Saturday afternoon. The five men, aged 27 to 36, had been presented since Saturday morning to an investigating judge, according to a judicial source, who said that the prosecution had requested the detention of the five suspects.
Late Saturday afternoon, at least three men had already been indicted and two imprisoned. “I regret this decision, even if it was requested to protect him in particular”, reacted Me Romain Boulet who defends a 33-year-old man, imprisoned. “He is the victim of manipulation and threats from blackmailers, just like Paul Pogba. It’s a trap that has closed on him,” he said.
The second, aged 36, has already been sentenced twice for acts of a criminal nature, said a source familiar with the matter. He wore a splint during the debate before the judge of freedoms and detention (JLD), ensuring, according to this source, to have been wounded by bullet in an arm within the framework of the Pogba affair.
“They contradict each other and lie”
A third suspect was to pass around 6:30 p.m. in front of the JLD which rules on the detention. During their custody at the Central Office for the Fight against Organized Crime (Oclco), the suspects said they were “victims of individuals whose names they refuse to give”, a source close to AFP told AFP. of the investigation. But, “they contradict each other and lie,” said this source.
The role of Mathias Pogba, 32, who went himself to the investigating service on Wednesday, is not yet “totally clear”, according to the close source. “The investigation is far from over,” she said. In a press release released last week, Mathias Pogba, also a professional footballer but in less prestigious clubs, said he was “totally foreign to any extortion maneuver” targeting his brother.
And in the first hours of his police custody, his lawyer, Me Yassine Bouzrou, had assured that his client contested “firmly any participation in the acts of kidnapping and extortion with a weapon”.
He nevertheless admitted, before the investigators, to be at the initiative of the video having revealed this affair which shakes the world of football two months before the World Cup in Qatar (November 20-December 18). In this enigmatic video, released on August 27, the eldest promised “revelations” about his younger brother.