Dani Alves remains in Spanish jail after fails to raise bail

AFP , Friday 22 Mar 2024

Convicted rapist and former Brazil international footballer Dani Alves will remain in jail until at least Monday after failing to raise the one-million-euro bail set by a Barcelona court to ensure his release pending appeal.

Dani Alves
FILE - Brazilian football star Dani Alves sits during his trial in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. A Spanish court has decided to release Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves if he pays a bail of one million euros and hands over his passports while awaiting the appeal of his conviction for raping a woman in Barcelona. Photo: AP

 

Wednesday's surprise decision by the court caught prosecutors off guard as the footballer had routinely been refused bail since his arrest in January 2023 on grounds he was a high flight risk.

One of the world's most decorated footballers, Alves, 40, was convicted last month of raping a young woman in the VIP bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub in the early hours of December 31, 2022.

His lawyers swiftly appealed the conviction and on Tuesday requested he be let out on bail on grounds he had already served a quarter of his four-and-a-half-year sentence in pre-trial detention.

A day later, the Barcelona court approved the request on condition that Alves post bail of a million euros ($1.08 million), hand over his Spanish and Brazilian passports, remain in the country and present himself to court "on a weekly basis".

But he has since missed a daily 2:00 pm cut-off time for presenting the funds, meaning he has had to remain in jail.

His lawyer on Friday asked for a one-hour extension until 3:00 pm but his representatives had not transferred the money by that time, so Alves will have to remain in jail over the weekend until the court office reopens on Monday, legal sources said.

The footballer's financial situation has deteriorated since his arrest in January 2023. The case led Mexican club Pumas UNAM to sack him and other sources of income to dry up, his defence team said.

Since his arrest, Alves has been held at a prison near Barcelona.

The appeal process could take months to complete.

The court's decision to grant him bail was angrily denounced by the victim's lawyer as "justice for the rich".

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