Ex-Brazil footballer Dani Alves granted €1 million bail after rape conviction

Brazilian footballer Dani Alves sits during his trial in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Feb. 5, 2024.
Brazilian footballer Dani Alves sits during his trial in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. Copyright Associated Press
Copyright Associated Press
By Euronews with Associated Press
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A Spanish court has granted a €1 million bail to footballer Dani Alves while he appeals his rape conviction.

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A Spanish court ruled that former Brazilian footballer Dani Alves could be released from prison on a €1 million bail and must surrender his passports while awaiting the appeal of his rape conviction in Barcelona.

Alves was convicted of raping a woman in a nightclub in 2022 and received a prison sentence of four years and six months. He maintained his innocence throughout the three-day trial.

He has been behind bars since being arrested in January 2023. Previous appeals for bail release were rejected as the court considered him a flight risk, noting that Brazil does not extradite its nationals who face convictions abroad.

To now go free, in addition to the bail money, the 40-year-old Alves is also required to hand over his Brazilian and Spanish passports and is prohibited from leaving the country. He also cannot come within 1,000 metres of the victim or try to communicate with her and he must report to the courthouse weekly. He still has a residence near the city.

The decision came a day after a hearing where Alves told the court via video conference from prison that he had no intention of fleeing the country, according to his lawyer, Inés Guardiola.

Guardiola and the state prosecutor have appealed the conviction. His defence is seeking his acquittal while the prosecutor wants his prison sentence increased to nine years. The victim's lawyer wants him put away for 12 years. No date has been scheduled for the new trial at a higher court in Barcelona. Following that, the case can be escalated to the Supreme Court in Madrid.

As part of his conviction, the court ordered Alves to pay €150,000 in compensation to the victim, banned him from approaching the victim’s home or place of work, and from communicating with her by any means for nine years.

He was with the Mexican club Pumas when he was arrested. Pumas terminated his contract immediately.

Alves won dozens of titles with elite clubs including Barcelona. He helped Brazil win two Copa Americas and an Olympic gold medal. He played for Barcelona from 2008-16, helping to win three Champions Leagues, and briefly rejoined the club in 2022.

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