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Brazilian footballer guilty over murder

A Brazilian footballer has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after being found guilty of ordering the killing of his ex-girlfriend.

Former Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes, 28, had admitted knowing that Eliza Samudio, a model, had been strangled and her dismembered remains fed to dogs.

He denied having ordered her murder and said it had been carried out by two of his co-defendants.

Prosecutors told the court Samudio had been killed after demanding child maintenance from Fernandes for their baby son. The murder happened after she had been lured to a hotel in Rio de Janeiro in June 2010.

Jurors also found Fernandes guilty of hiding her body and kidnapping their son. He had been jailed for four-and-a-half years in December 2010 after being found guilty at another trial of abducting and assaulting Samudio in 2009.

Luiz Henrique Ferreira Romao, a friend of Fernandes, was jailed for 15 years for his part in the murder last year. He told his trial that the former goalkeeper had ordered it. Marcos Aparecido dos Santos, an ex-policeman, is accused of dismembering the victim.

Fernandes, a popular figure with football fans in Brazil, had been tipped to play for the national team at the 2014 World Cup in the country. He had captained Flamengo to the 2009 Brazilian league title.