Convicted of rape, ex-Brazil star Dani Alves freed on bail for 1 mn euros: court

AFP , Wednesday 20 Mar 2024

Former Brazil international footballer Dani Alves is to be released from jail pending an appeal against his rape conviction in exchange for posting bail of one million euros ($1.08 million), a Barcelona court said Wednesday.

Dani Alves
(FILES) Brazilian footballer Dani Alves looks on at the start of his trial at the High Court of Justice of Catalonia in Barcelona, on February 5, 2024. Convicted of rape, ex-Brazil star Dani Alves will be freed on bail for 1 mn euros, the court has ruled on March 20, 2024. Ex-Brazil star has been sentenced to 4.5 years in jail for rape on February 22, 2024. (Photo by Jordi BORRAS / POOL / AFP)

 

The ruling came a day after his lawyer requested the 40-year-old's release on grounds he had already served a quarter of his four-and-a-half-year sentence in pre-trial detention following his arrest in January 2023.

In its ruling, the court granted him "provisional release" in exchange for "the bail payment of 1,000,000 euros" also requiring he hand over his Spanish and Brazilian passports, remain in Spain and present himself to court "on a weekly basis".

Public prosecutors had 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 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".

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