Champions League

Ex-Barcelona star Dani Alves pays €1m bail as he appeals against rape conviction

Ex-Barcelona star Dani Alves pays €1m bail as he appeals against rape conviction

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Barcelona star Dani Alves has paid €1m (£853,000) in bail to be released from prison while appealing against a rape conviction.

The ex-Brazil international, who will have to hand over his passports upon release, is expected to be discharged later on Monday.

It comes after a Spanish court last week ruled that Alves could be conditionally released from prison after serving a quarter of his sentence.

Alves, a three-time Champions League winner, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on 22 February, having been found guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022. He was also ordered to pay €150,000 (£120,000) to the victim by the court.

The 40-year-old has spent the last 14 months in the Brians II prison, located 45 minutes from Barcelona, ever since being detained by authorities investigating the accusation against him.

Prior to last week, all requests from Alves to be freed on bail had been denied by the court, deeming him a flight risk. However, the judges were split two to one in last week’s vote, with those in favor of granting Alves bail saying they believed the flight risk had lowered.

Dani Alves was convicted of sexual assault in February

The decision was vehemently contested by Spain’s state prosecutors, who wanted Alves to remain jailed while awaiting his appeal. Asking the court to reconsider its choice to grant bail, the prosecution argued that the risk of Alves fleeing has increased since he was found guilty.

Calls for the court to revert its stance came to nothing, with the bail set staying in place.

Alves’ lawyer previously revealed that her client is facing dire financial struggles, with the once multi-millionaire possessing a negative bank balance of £17,000.

As such, there was reports that friend and former teammate Neymar had been asked to pay his bail. However, the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain winger’s father was quick to distance his son from these claims, issuing a strong statement on Instagram that denied any involvement in Alves’ release.

No date has been set for Alves’ appeals trial at a higher court in Barcelona. After that, the case could go to the Spanish supreme court in Madrid.

Alves’ lawyers are seeking his acquittal, with the Brazilian denying any wrongdoing, while prosecutors want his prison sentence increased to nine years. The victim’s lawyer wants him jailed for 12 years.

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