(Paris) Footballer Paul Pogba is confronted on Friday in the Paris court by five of his relatives, childhood friends and old acquaintances, suspected of having had a role in his kidnapping in March 2022, where two robbers demanded 13 million from him euros.
The French player, nicknamed “La Pioche”, is having a difficult week since his provisional suspension for suspicion of doping.
And this confrontation, which began late Friday morning according to sources close to the case at AFP, constitutes a crucial step in the judicial investigation opened in September 2022, as the world champion’s story differs from that of the indicted.
One of Paul Pogba’s older brothers, Mathias, is also indicted.
He is suspected of having put pressure on his younger brother for several months to pay the 13 million euros – which he disputes – but he was not present the very night of the kidnapping and was absent on Friday morning in court.
The confrontation should focus on the course of the night of March 19 to 20, 2022.
In addition to Paul’s testimony, the investigating judge will be able to oppose the divergent versions, according to their interrogations of which AFP was aware.
Who was present at the dinner preceding the sequestration, March 19, 2022? Was Paul Pogba then forced, as he says, to go to another apartment? Did Roushdane K., the main suspect, confiscate his phone or was it really a “habit” of this group of friends to turn off their cell phones, as the accused claims? How do the robbers get into the living room?
“Cutting off supplies”
For investigators, the three childhood friends and two old acquaintances from the neighborhood where the Pogba grew up, in Roissy-en-Brie, near Paris, constitute “a criminal team made up of childhood friends, reinforced by a an individual with a well-established criminal profile, Roushdane, with the aim of extracting 13 million euros from Paul, who had cut off funds at the start of the year”, according to a police summary of which AFP was aware.
The five categorically deny it.
Roushdane K., at the heart of the suspicions, and Mathias Pogba, explained during their interrogations that they feared for their own safety, because Paul did not pay the 13 million euros.
“I am a victim,” declared Roushdane K., claiming to have been shot. Mathias Pogba, 33, says he was robbed at the end of July 2022 – “the fear of his life”.
Money is corrupting this business.
Paul Pogba, heard as a civil party by the judge in October 2022 and in March 2023, specified that he had “already helped” the suspects financially. “I grew up with them. It made me happy. I really thought I was making a nice gesture,” he confides.
He says that that night, after having dinner with the mother of one of his comrades, Roushdane K. told him to follow them to another apartment where the people indicted notably criticized him for no longer supporting them enough. financially.
Paul also details having been threatened with leaks to the press: a USB key would contain proof that he paid a marabout to bewitch another French football star, Kylian Mbappé – which Pogba and the sorcerer denied during their hearings, explaining that the donations were intended for “good deeds in Africa”.
After this round of reproaches, Paul Pogba claims that Roushdane K., “pissed off”, asked some people to leave the apartment. The footballer stayed there, with a childhood friend and Roushdane K.
Two hooded men then enter the living room.
Roushdane K. then allegedly ordered Paul “to pay” these men, who were aiming at the footballer with guns. The latter assured him that they had ensured his security for several years, loyal services which they valued at 13 million euros.
Roushdane K. “knew them”, “whispered in their ear”, declared Paul Pogba.
Questioned in March 2023, this suspect denied Paul’s “nonsense”. The man, 37 years old and currently in pre-trial detention, says he was asked by two “acquaintances” to organize a meeting with the footballer so that he could finance one of their projects.
He claims to have been surprised by the presence of the robbers and to have been “afraid that it would get out of hand”. He claims to have also been robbed and to have let Paul speak “directly” with the individuals.