Robinho was at one time one of the hottest properties in world soccer, becoming the most expensive signing in English soccer when he moved from Real Madrid to Manchester City. Now he is a con on the run from the law. This comes after he lost his final appeal against a nine year sentence for a gang rape that happened in Milan in 2017. The story goes that the former Brazil International was part of a group that gang raped a 23 year old Albanian woman. Before he could be sentenced, Robinho ran back to Brazil which coincidentally doesn’t do extraditions. Today I want to talk about whether there superstar celebrities receive preferential treatment when it comes to legal cases. Let me start by pointing out why some countries do not have extradition treaties with other countries. Countries have different legal systems which makes it difficult for them to discern whether criminals have gotten a fair trial or not. In other words each has its own standard of justice. So in the case of Robinho, a crime which occurred in Italy may not have gotten a conviction in Brazil according to Brazilian law. The other reason is POLITICS. A break down in diplomatic relations between two countries can result in NO extradition between the two. It is like having a neighbor who you hate with a passion asking you to punish your son or daughter who went to the neighbors house and stole something. That is not going to happen.
Now, Robinho may be off the hook in terms of going to prison for now but it isn’t over yet. The court of public opinion is just as big if not bigger that courts of justice. Pressure is mounting on him from Women’s Rights groups in Brazil after he was seen using his Ex Club Santos’s facilities. The outcry also comes after he was seen breaking Covid-19 restrictions by playing foot volley in coastal Sao Paulo. Such outcry can actually force the Brazilian authorities to act. Remember, Italian authorities can request the Brazilians to jail him in Brazil and serve out his sentence there. But that is unlikely with his power and money. It might hurt to say this but sometimes money, power and celebrity buys your freedom. It also doesn’t hurt to have a politician or two on your Whatsapp contacts. While Robinho played it smart, other such as Julian Assange, the founder of secrets outer Wikileaks didn’t. Ecuador, where he sort refuge from the US, does have a treaty with the US so he miscalculated there gambling on political animosity between the two coming to play. One thing if for sure, Brazilians love their soccer stars so there will be support for Robinho(who is now a free agent after leaving his previous Turkish Club, and that seems to be what’s keeping him a free man.