PARIS (AP) — A police investigation into allegations that French soccer star Paul Pogba was targeted by extortionists took a bizarre new twist Friday with the publication by one of the suspects, his older brother Mathias, of a long series of videos targeting the 2018 World Cup winner, his entourage and his rich lifestyle.
More than 30 videos of Mathias Pogba reading a multi-page statement to the camera have been posted on Twitter.
It was unclear exactly when the videos were filmed. But that may have been before Mathias Pogba surrendered for police questioning last week. He has since been taken into custody.
His lawyer did not immediately respond to a series of questions from The Associated Press.
Recording the videos appears to have been a time-consuming exercise as Mathias Pogba wore three different T-shirts.
“If you watch this video, it will be because my brother Paul Pogba found a way to shut me up,” Mathias Pogba said in the series premiere. “I’m recording this video so that whatever happens will be revealed.”
The words “insurance video, kept in a safe place” were written above many videos. They followed up on previous social media posts where Mathias Pogba threatened to make explosive revelations about his brother, who plays for Juventus after leaving Manchester United.
Mathias Pogba and four others were charged last Saturday and jailed in the extortion probe, French prosecutors said.
In the latest set of recordings, Mathias Pogba accused his multi-millionaire brother of abandoning family members, leaving them destitute.
He also claimed that the midfielder mixed with criminals and he reiterated that Paul Pogba employed a wizard. He offered no evidence to support his accusations.
According to Mathias Pogba’s latest claims, the wizard is close to former France international Alou Diarra, and Paul Pogba was introduced to him by former PSG defender Serge Aurier.
He said that over the years, the French midfielder had spent millions of euros on the wizard’s services, asking him, for example, to help France win the 2018 World Cup or to cast spells on rival footballers.
Mathias Pogba had previously claimed that his brother had targeted Kylian Mbappé without being more specific. In his latest videos, he claimed that Paul Pogba asked the wizard to ‘neutralise’ Mbappé for the second leg of a Champions League game between PSG and Manchester United in 2019. United won that match 3-1 to qualify for the quarter-finals. .
The videos were also accompanied by a series of Twitter posts and a statement addressed to Paul Pogba. The first post in the long thread said it was auto-sent by “my bot”.
“It also means I am no longer free,” the post read.
Mathias Pogba has said his life is now in danger as his brother has “betrayed his henchmen”, who are targeting those around him in retaliation. Mathias Pogba said some of his relatives “have already been attacked and shot” because of his brother. .
The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation last month into allegations that Paul Pogba – who scored one of France’s goals in the 2018 World Cup final – was the target of a plot. extortion by his brother and childhood friends demanding 13 million euros ($13 million) from him. Mathias Pogba has denied taking part in the scheme.
According to broadcaster RTL, which cited the police investigation report, the group of people profited from the player’s money for years, benefiting for example from investments of several hundred thousand euros in a restaurant of burgers. RTL reported on their website that the threats and demands for €13m allegedly started when Paul Pogba decided to stop the money at the end of January this year.
Mathias Pogba had a modest footballing career as a striker with lower level teams in England and other European countries.
Petrequin reported from Brussels.
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