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1970: Bobby Moore cleared of stealing
The England soccer captain, Bobby Moore, has been cleared of stealing an emerald bracelet in Colombia.

Moore, who captained England to World Cup victory in 1966, was accused of taking the 600 ($1,500) bracelet from the Green Fire shop in the Tequendama Hotel, Bogota, last month.

Police and judicial investigators have long indicated that Moore was set up, and today the Bogota Superior Court ruled he should have "unconditional freedom".

The three judges also confirmed a decision made by Judge Pedro Dorado on 28 May that there was no evidence to warrant jailing England's legendary footballer.

House arrest

On 18 May Mr Moore went into the shop with fellow player Bobby Charlton to find a present for Charlton's wife.

The store owner, Danilo Rojas, and his assistant, Carla Padilla, called the police after the two men had left the shop.

The police arrived and took statements and the footballer denied the allegations.

On 25 May, Mr Moore, was charged and placed under house arrest at the home of a local football official but was freed three days later with conditions, so that he could play in the World Cup in Mexico.

One witness, Alvaro Suarez, said he had seen the bracelet in Moore's pocket.

But today the chief of police, Jaime Ramirez, indicated Mr Moore had been the victim of a frame-up and that Mr Suarez had been paid by Mr Rojas to testify against the England football star.

It is believed the plan was to either blackmail Mr Moore and get publicity for the jewellery shop and even to damage England's morale ahead of the World Cup.

Mr Moore, now back in the UK, will not have to report to the Colombian Consulate, but if he ever returned to Colombia he may be asked further questions in relation to the theft as further investigations are still under way.

Rojas and Suarez will be questioned by the judge - but Ms Padilla is believed to have gone to the United States.

The First Secretary at the British Embassy in Bogota, Keith Morris, welcomed the ruling but said the judges had decided a "legal technicality" and that the case was by no means closed.

Bobby Moore was named Footballer of the Year 1963-64 and awarded an OBE 1967.

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Footballer Bobby Moore
Colombian police believe the England captain was framed


In Context
Bobby Moore retired as a player seven years after the Bogota bracelet incident.

He managed Oxford City and Southend United, where he was also a director, and then started up his own sports marketing company.

From 1986 to 1990 he was sports editor of the Sunday Sport and then a commentator for London's Capital Radio station until his death in 1993 from cancer.

In November 1972 a Colombian judge decided charges against Bobby should be dropped but the case was reopened in 1973.

Finally, in December 1975 the Foreign Office wrote to Moore saying the case was closed.

Previously secret documents released in 2001 under the 30-year rule revealed how British diplomats in Colombia under pressure from Prime Minister Harold Wilson himself made sure Bobby Moore was not jailed after his arrest and cleared as soon as possible.

More documents released in 2003 by the Public Records Office showed that even the head of the Colombian police believed Moore was innocent and that the prime suspect was in fact an unnamed woman who had touted the bracelet to members of the Colombian underworld.

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