Convicted ex-Brazil star Dani Alves seeks release on bail

Former Brazil international footballer Dani Alves, who is serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence in Spain for rape, asked Tuesday to be released on bail while his appeal is considered.

During a closed-door hearing at a Barcelona court his lawyer Ines Guardiola argued the player had already served a quarter of his sentence since he has been held in pre-trial detention since January 2023, legal sources said.

His legal team also proposed he post bail of 50,000 euros ($54,000) or hand over his two passports to guarantee he would remain in Spain while his appeal is heard, the sources added.

Alves, who spoke at the hearing by videoconference from prison, assured the judges he would not flee and said he had faith in the justice system.

Public prosecutors opposed his request, arguing he posed a high flight risk.

One of the world’s most decorated footballers who played for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, Alves, 40, was sentenced on February 22 after being convicted of raping a young woman at a Barcelona nightclub in December 2022. His lawyers swiftly appealed the conviction.

The victim, who testified behind a screen to protect her identity, said Alves had violently forced her to have sex in a private bathroom of the nightclub despite begging him to release her, causing her “anguish and terror”, prosecutors said.

Alves’ lawyers had argued the victim had been “glued” to the player while dancing at the nightclub, saying there was “sexual tension” between them.

But in its 61-page decision, the court said that did not mean “that she consented to anything that might have subsequently happened”.

AFP

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