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Sequestration of Paul Pogba: “I was everyone’s puppet”, assures his brother

“I was everyone's puppet,” Mathias Pogba recently told the investigating judge responsible for investigations into the sequestration in 2022 of his brother Paul, world football champion in 2018, whom he hopes to “see again in faster".

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Sequestration of Paul Pogba: “I was everyone’s puppet”, assures his brother

“I was everyone's puppet,” Mathias Pogba recently told the investigating judge responsible for investigations into the sequestration in 2022 of his brother Paul, world football champion in 2018, whom he hopes to “see again in faster".

“I was passed around from left to right, I was lied to from the start,” he said, “moved to tears,” according to his interrogation on January 25, which AFP became aware of on Tuesday.

Also read “A very complicated year”: between his injuries and the extortion affair, Pogba “comes out” of the silence

On March 19, 2022, Paul Pogba was kidnapped and robbed in the Paris suburbs by two unidentified men who demanded 13 million euros from him. Three childhood friends and two old acquaintances from the neighborhood where the Pogba grew up, in Roissy-en-Brie (Seine-et-Marne), are present that night.

They will be indicted in Paris for extortion with weapons and kidnapping by an organized gang. But they all deny, claiming to also be “victims” of the robbers and to have been attacked because Paul Pogba refused to pay.

Until then, Paul's eldest, Mathias, who was absent the night of the incident, believed their version, he explained to the judge. He tried several times to speak with Paul or to see him - which led to him being indicted, suspected of having provided "active assistance" to convince his brother to pay.

But on January 25, the magistrate revealed to him the results of the exploitation of a suspect's cell phone. These new elements, of which AFP has become aware, outline, according to investigators, the outlines of an “organization” of the fateful night by at least two of the suspects, Adama C. and Mamadou M..

“They’re like brothers to us,” reacts, taken aback, Mathias Pogba. “They come and tell me all this as if they were victims when everything was already orchestrated.”

Also read: Injuries, doping, extortion: Paul Pogba's long descent into hell

The affair became public, turning into a family drama, when Mathias Pogba published videos in the summer of 2022 incriminating his younger brother whom he accused of having “abandoned” them. “I wanted to let out the rage” but “at no time” put pressure on him, he assures. “I hope to see him again as soon as possible. (...) It will take the time it takes but I hope that our union will be reconsolidated.

Several telephone exchanges heighten suspicions against the two childhood friends of the Juventus Turin player, suspended four years for doping.

On March 10, nine days before the sequestration, Adama C. received a voice note from Mamadou M.: “You have to hit hard, hard, hard, hard, but then if you really ask for 25 (...) it's a quarter of his fortune, brother (...) you have to do things right, (...) not strip him.”

Adama C. also calls a friend living overseas. Heard in police custody in mid-November, the latter said that Adama C. had told him: “Come, we're going to talk to Paul to get some money (...) we must not miss the train”.

Adama offers to pay for his plane ticket to the metropolis. He refuses because he feels Adama, usually “peaceful”, quite “angry”. For him, “Paul promised things that he did not do,” he analyzes. He claims to have warned the world champion that people were angry with him, without “giving a name”.

What is this “organization” hiding? asked the investigating judge at the end of December to Mamadou M. and Adama C. Nothing, replied Adama C. “When Paul comes, it’s in a rush. We had to organize ourselves a little.”

“When I said that we had to hit hard, I said that everyone had to speak” to “move forward hand in hand”, assures Mamadou M..

He says he planned to become, with Adama C., Paul's agent: the 25 million mentioned do not correspond to the spoils of any extortion, but to the dream commission.

The judge also questions them about a meeting at the beginning of March with Roushdane K., a “big brother” with a criminal record, during which they detailed their “problems with Paul”.

Present on the night of the kidnapping, the person concerned told the judge in mid-January that he had been there to “ease tensions”. “My client never asked for a euro from Paul Pogba. I am surprised that he is still in detention,” underlines his lawyer, Me Daphné Pugliesi.

The other lawyers declined to comment. Me Karim Morand-Lahouazi, counsel for Adama C., simply welcomed the release under judicial supervision of his client on Thursday.

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