Paul Pogba says he is the target of a blackmail plot – Copyright POOL/AFP Ian Vogler
Paul Pogba’s older brother has been charged and detained on charges of extorting a French football star, a source close to the case said on Saturday.
“We are going to challenge this decision,” Matias Pogba’s lawyer Yassin Bouzra told French television channel BFMTV, insisting his client did not commit a criminal offence.
The court source said that four other persons detained and interrogated in the case, aged 27 to 36, were also charged and detained.
Five have been in custody since Tuesday and Wednesday.
Matias Pogba, 32, has admitted to being behind a bizarre video posted online on August 27 promising “great revelations” about the Juventus and France international.
The other four are close to the Pogba brothers.
Paul Pogba filed a complaint with the Turin prosecutor on July 16, saying he was the target of a €13 million blackmail.
According to sources close to the Pogba family contacted by AFP, Paul Pogba is being asked for a large sum of money if he wants to avoid the distribution of allegedly incriminating videos.
Paul Pogba told investigators his blackmailers wanted to discredit him by claiming he asked a marabout (holy man) to cast a spell on PSG and France star Kylian Mbappe, which Pogba denies.
French prosecutors opened an investigation on 2 September. It is conducted jointly by the units of the French police to combat banditry and the central office for combating crime.
Several people, including Pogba’s mother, have already been questioned by police, a judicial source told AFP.
On the pitch, Pogba’s hopes of playing for France at the World Cup in Qatar later this year hang in the balance after suffering a knee injury. Earlier this month, he underwent what was described as a “successful” operation.