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Italian ex-football star Sartor ‘grew marijuana plants’

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image captionLuigi Sartor (2004 pic): Arrested for an alleged drugs offence

A former Italian football star, Luigi Sartor, has been put under house arrest after police allegedly found him growing marijuana with an accomplice.

Italian media say Sartor and Marco Mantovani, both aged 46, are to face trial next month. Sartor made no statement at a court hearing.

Police reportedly found 106 marijuana plants at Sartor’s mountain cottage.

Sartor was a defender with AS Roma, Parma, Juventus and Inter Milan. He was arrested in a village near Parma.

The police raid took place on Friday in Lesignano Palmia, south-west of Parma in northern Italy. The plants, kept in what appeared to be an abandoned property, could have produced 2kg (4.4 pounds) of marijuana.

Investigators’ suspicions were raised when the cottage’s power supply was doubled and its lights were seen to be on at night.

They stopped Sartor’s car and, reports say, smelled the same distinctive odour as was detected outside his cottage.

In 2011 Sartor was indicted for conspiracy to commit betting fraud, in a match-fixing scandal known as “Calcioscommesse”. But in 2019 the investigation was ended under a statute of limitations rule.

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