Mathias Pogba has spent his first night in prison, accused of involvement in a bizarre blackmail of his younger brother and France World Cup winner Paul Pogba.
Mathias and the other four defendants – all childhood friends from Roissy-en-Brie – have denied before the judge their involvement in the extortion of the Juventus player, from whom they allegedly demanded 13 million euros.
It has been claimed that they were acting under pressure from another group, of which they were unable to give details.
This line of defence, which is the same as that already made public by Mathias, is based on mysterious violent attacks that all the accused claim to have suffered in recent months, although without having reported them to the authorities at the time.
These include an assault last July by armed and hooded men on three of the suspects (including Mathias Pogba).
In the same month, the vehicle of another of the accused, identified as Mamadou, was set on fire.
The most serious incident reported by one of the suspects (identified as K.) was a shot that hit his hand during an assault by a group of four men.
This allegation was substantiated by the authorities, as it was shown that the accused was in a Parisian hospital for treatment of the wound.
The kidnapping of Paul Pogba
Of the most serious suspicions hanging over the group of friends, that of kidnapping with a weapon – for which Mathias was not incriminated – they all disassociate themselves.
On June 19, during a training camp for the French national team, Paul went to visit his childhood friends who took him to a flat in Lagny-sur-Marne.
There, where Mathias was not present, but where some of the friends were present, hooded men armed with assault rifles burst in, demanding 13m euros in exchange for protection services.
The defendants told the judge that they were forced to put Paul in this violent situation.
However, the Juventus player reportedly told investigators that those close to him had already reproached him during that night “for having left them aside”.
“I was scared,” confessed the French international, who was held until 04:00 in the morning.
Spending 47,000 euros on sportswear
After that event, the player is believed to have attempted a transfer of 11m euros, but it was refused by his bank.
The midfielder claims to have transferred 100,000 euros to another of the accused, B. (K.’s brother), which is denied by the accused.
A few days after the abduction, Paul‘s relatives went to the Adidas shop on the Champs Elysees and spent up to 47,000 euros on sports equipment, which they charged to the credit that the midfielder has with the sports brand.
However, this credit has a limit of 30,000 euros and Paul had to travel to pay the remaining 17,000 euros.
Subsequently, and allegedly aided by Mathias, the group of friends pressured and harassed both the French international and his entourage for months.
After the investigation into all these events had already been going on for weeks, Mathias decided to go public with a bizarre video at the end of August, when he spoke of “surprising revelations” about the Juventus midfielder and about Kylian Mbappe.
Mathias claimed his brother had hired a witch doctor to cast spell on the PSG striker, a claim denied by the former Manchester United player.