Mathias Pogba, 32, presented himself “at the beginning of the afternoon (Wednesday) to the investigation service and was taken into custody”, a source close to the police told AFP. file, confirming information from the daily Le Monde.
“Mathias Pogba presented himself to the police in order to be heard,” his lawyer, Me Yassine Bouzrou, told AFP. “He strongly denies any participation in the acts of kidnapping and extortion with a weapon of which his brother Paul Pogba would have been the victim,” he added.
According to another source familiar with the matter, three of the people in police custody are friends or relatives of the Pogba brothers.
Of the five suspects heard by investigators, one was taken into custody on Tuesday and the other four on Wednesday, a judicial source said.
These police custody were ordered as part of the judicial investigation opened on September 2 in Paris for, in particular, extortion with a weapon, kidnapping or kidnapping in an organized gang and participation in a criminal association.
This incredible affair, which is shaking the world of football two months before the World Cup in Qatar, started with a complaint filed on July 16 with the Turin prosecutor’s office by Paul Pogba.
The Juventus player denounced in this complaint extortion attempts between March and July 2022 amounting to several million euros.
But the facts only came to light with the publication on August 27 of an enigmatic video of Mathias Pogba, himself a professional footballer, who promised “revelations” about his brother.
The star of the France team said during his first hearing before the investigators that he was trapped by childhood friends and two hooded men, armed with assault rifles, accusing him of not having helped them financially, according to information from France Info, confirmed to AFP by a source familiar with the matter.
A sum of 13 million euros would have been claimed from him and he claims to have paid 100,000 euros.
The 29-year-old midfielder, nicknamed the “Pickaxe”, then claimed to have recognized his older brother Mathias among the suspects. During another hearing, he felt in front of the investigators that Mathias was “under pressure” from people wanting to extract money from him.
According to a relative of the family contacted by AFP, “Mathias is under pressure. He is a calm guy, unrecognizable on the video (which triggered the affair, editor’s note) where he is shaking, he is not like that in life”.
Last week, Mathias Pogba, through the voice of his former lawyer, said he was “totally foreign to any extortion maneuver against his brother, Paul Pogba”.
– “External threats –
“It is clear that the difficulties experienced by the Pogba family are the result of external threats which the justice, now seized, will take the measure”, he continued.
“Mathias Pogba, who aspires more than anything to calm the situation with his brother, will now reserve his word to the investigating judges in charge of this case, if necessary,” added the council in a press release.
In this case, the name of French football star Kylian Mbappé also appears, reluctantly.
Paul Pogba explained to investigators that “his blackmailers wanted to discredit him by broadcasting messages in which he allegedly asked a marabout from his family circle to cast a spell” on the PSG striker. The Juve player has denied these allegations.
Kylian Mbappé confided at the beginning of September that he had chosen to “trust his word (that of Paul Pogba), in the interest of the French team”, he confided at the beginning of September before the Champions League match against Juventus of Turin.
“I prefer to trust the word of a teammate, he called me and gave me his version of the facts,” he added, assuring that this case had not deteriorated relations between the two. players.