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Pele's son denied bail

June 14, 2005 15:56 IST
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A state judge in Sao Paolo refused to grant bail for Pele's son while he awaits trial on drug charges, court officials said.

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Edson Cholbi Nascimento was among some 50 suspects arrested last week in a police crackdown on a cocaine-dealing gang in the seaside city of Santos, about 70 km southeast of Sao Paulo.

Judge Edgard de Souza Castro, of the Praia Grande first criminal court, denied a defense request to release Nascimento on bail.

Castro said that wiretapped phone conversations between Nascimento and members of the drug gang were material evidence of his involvement.

Nascimento, 35, a former professional soccer player known as Edinho, was charged with criminal association with drug traffickers.

He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

On Sunday evening, Brazil's Rede Record TV network showed video of Nascimento informally admitting to his involvement with the drug gang.

"I'm guilty, that's no secret. Today, I'm prepared to face two or three years (in prison), understand?" he said on the tape, recorded inside the headquarters of Sao Paulo's anti-narcotics division.

It was not immediately clear how the television station obtained the tape or who Nascimento was talking with.

Nascimento was a second-string goalkeeper for eight years with Santos, Pele's former club. He retired from professional soccer in 1999.

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