Pele's son Edinho was found not guilty of manslaughter in a re-trial over his alleged involvement in a car crash in Santos 13 years ago.

A spokesman for the court in Santos, a port city around 60 kilometres from Sao Paulo, said the verdict was reached in the early hours of Friday morning after a hearing which began on Thursday.

But former goalkeeper Edinho, full name Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, went straight back to a high-security prison where he is awaiting a separate trial on drugs charges.

Edinho, who played for his father's old club Santos, had been sentenced to a six-year prison term, under a semi-open regime, after being found guilty in the first trial in October 1999.

On that occasion, the jury accepted the prosecution's claim that Edinho took part in a high-speed race through the streets of Santos.

During the alleged race in 1992, the other car involved hit and killed an elderly motorcyclist.

Edinho immediately appealed which, under Brazilian law, meant that he did not have to go to prison. The re-trial was ordered last year.

Pele, widely considered the finest footballer of all time and still a revered figure in Brazil, has said he will stand by his son.

The former Brazil number 10 wept publicly when he visited Edinho in jail after his arrest.

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