Spanish judge bans Rubiales from coming within 200 metres of Jenni Hermoso after World Cup kiss

Luis Rubiales, the former president of Spain’s soccer federation, has arrived at a court in Madrid to give testimony on Friday.
Luis Rubiales, the former president of Spain’s soccer federation, has arrived at a court in Madrid to give testimony on Friday. Copyright AP / Manu Fernandez
By Euronews with AP
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Rubiales appeared before a judge and denied any wrongdoing when asked about kissing Spain's Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the Women's World Cup.


The former president of the Spanish football federation has been given a restraining order and banned from contacting Jenni Hermoso, the player he kissed on the lips at the Women's World Cup last month, the Spanish National Court has ruled.

Luis Rubiales appeared in court on Friday afternoon to give his testimony, and denied any wrongdoing when asked about kissing Hermoso on the lips during the post-game award ceremony, the prosecutor's office said.

He spent about 45 minutes answering questions from the judge, the public prosecutor, his lawyer and the private prosecutor in an hour-long hearing that was closed to the public.

After hearing Rubiales, the judge issued the restraining order that prohibits the former football chief from coming within 200 metres of Hermoso. The prosecution had asked for the ban to be extended to 500 metres.

The judge rejected the prosecution's request to require Rubiales to report to court every 15 days, as well as Hermoso's lawyer's request to freeze his assets.

Spain's former football chief is being defended by one of the country's most respected criminal lawyers, Olga Tubau.

Spanish prosecutors formally accused Rubiales last week of sexual assault and coercion. According to Hermoso, Rubiales pressured her to speak out in his defence immediately after the scandal broke.

Outside the National Court, neither Rubiales nor his defence lawyer spoke to the media.

Hermoso's lawyer, a specialist in gender-based violence, said they were satisfied with the hearing.

"We can continue to affirm that the kiss was not consensual, which is what we said from the beginning," the lawyer said. 

"Thanks to the images of the kiss, the whole world, the whole country, has been able to observe that there was no kind of consent. And we will prove that in the courtroom."

Under immense pressure from the government and football authorities, Rubiales finally caved in on Sunday and announced that he was stepping down as president of the federation. He had already been provisionally suspended by FIFA.

According to a sexual consent law passed in Spain last year, the former football chief could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault.

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