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Thursday, October 7, 1999 Published at 12:52 GMT


World: Americas

Pele's son convicted of murder

Guilty: Pele's son (centre) and Melo (left)

The son of Brazilian soccer legend and former sports minister, Pele, has been convicted of murder for his part in a street car race which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist.

Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, 29, received a six-year sentence to be served under a work-release programme, which means he will leave prison only to go to work.

Nascimento and Marcilio Jose Marinho de Melo, 25, were convicted of racing their cars in Santos, a port town 77km (48 miles) south east of Sao Paulo, when they struck and killed 50-year-old Pedro Simoes Neto in October 1992.

Although Melo's car was the one that hit Mr Neto, Nascimento was found guilty for taking part in the race.

Melo received the same sentence as Nascimento.

Appeal against sentence

Nascimento's lawyer immediately filed an appeal. Both men will remain free until the appeal is held.

In February, the justice tribunal of Sao Paulo state ruled that both men should be charged with murder, and not - as expected - with involuntary manslaughter.

Nascimento, a reserve goalkeeper for eight years on the Santos Team - Pele's former club - announced his retirement from professional soccer in late June.

He then joined his father's company, Pele Sports and Marketing.

Edmundo also jailed

In a separate development, Brazilian soccer star Edmundo, 28, is reported to have turned himself in to police Wednesday night, a day after a court denied his appeal on a manslaughter conviction.

Police had been searching for the soccer star, whose full name is Edmundo Alves de Souza, after he disappeared following a court decision on Tuesday.

The court upheld a four-and-a-half-year sentence in connection with a 1995 car accident in Rio that left three dead.



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