A Paris Saint-Germain footballer was released from custody without charge on Thursday, the day after her arrest as part of the investigation into a violent assault on one of her teammates by masked men brandishing a metal bar .
The player, Aminata Diallo, saw her police custody extended for 24 hours on Wednesday evening by a French prosecutor, and was subject to further questioning on Thursday over the incident, during which her teammate Kheira Hamraoui was extracted out of a car and beaten on her way home. of a team dinner last week.
Diallo had been in police custody for approximately 36 hours. The Versailles prosecutor’s office confirmed that an acquaintance of Diallo, a Lyonnais who had been imprisoned for unrelated charges, had been questioned and then released. The prosecutor’s office offered no further comments or details on the investigation, or on why Diallo or the man had been detained.
In France, detention is not uncommon in police investigations. But in most cases, prosecutors must charge suspects or have them released within 48 hours. Diallo has not been charged with a felony, and police have made no public comments linking her to the attack. But the investigation will continue and Diallo could be charged at a later date if there is evidence implicating him in a crime.
Diallo was arrested by police who arrived at her home at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday and searched her apartment and a car provided by the team she was driving when the attack occurred. last week.
Police also took possession of Diallo’s cell phone and then questioned a 34-year-old man in Lyon who was in prison on unrelated charges. The man, described as a awareness de Diallo, was also released without charge on Thursday, the Versailles prosecutor’s office confirmed.
News of Diallo’s arrest had surprised Paris Saint-Germain, an elite team who are the reigning French champions and one of the richest and most powerful clubs in world football. Team officials learned of Diallo’s detention on Wednesday morning – and the suggestion that she may have played a role in the attack on Hamraoui – from the media, and only after his detention.
They were even more stunned by the accusations because Diallo and Hamraoui were considered friends; L’Equipe and other news outlets in France reported that the players – who both played for the France national team but had never been members of the same club before – had even spent vacation together.
In the days following last Thursday night’s attack, Diallo – who was uninjured in the incident – had continued to train with the team, and she had started and played most of the time. game on Tuesday as PSG beat Real Madrid in the Champions League.
A few hours later, she was under arrest.
The assault occurred after Diallo and his teammates attended a team bonding dinner. Subsequently, Diallo and two other team members, including Hamraoui, returned home together in Diallo’s team Toyota, as they lived close to each other in the same Paris suburb.
After dropping off their teammate, Diallo and Hamraoui saw their car stopped by two masked men as it approached Hamraoui’s home. There in the dark, and as the players attempted to defend themselves, one of the men pulled Hamraoui out of the car and beat her with a metal bar while the other held Diallo at bay. The attacker reportedly paid particular attention to the blows to Hamraoui’s legs.
Hamraoui, who had cuts and bruises but no fractures, was treated in a hospital for her injuries. She reported the crime to police and club security officials that night.
But given she had stitches and strong bruises, she was left out of the team’s game against Real Madrid on Tuesday. At the time, the club explained her absence as a personal issue and enrolled her friend Diallo in the starting lineup for her.
On Sunday, PSG will return to the field for the showcase match of the new French season, traveling against their Lyon rival. Neither Diallo nor Hamraoui should play.
Aurélien Breeden contributed to the report from Paris.