Dani Alves makes first weekly appearance at Barcelona court after being released

Former footballer freed from jail on Monday on €1m bail pending appeal of rape conviction

Dani Alves and his lawyer Inés Guardiola at the Barcelona court where he must attend every week
Dani Alves and his lawyer Inés Guardiola at the Barcelona court where he must attend every week / Laura Fíguls
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 28, 2024 11:05 AM

March 28, 2024 11:06 AM

Former FC Barcelona footballer Dani Alves appeared on Thursday morning at the Barcelona court where he is required to appear every week. 

Alves was released from jail on Monday on a €1 million bail while appeals against his 4.5-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting a woman are resolved.   

In addition to the payment, Alves was required to surrender both his Spanish and Brazilian passports and attend court every Friday to prevent him from fleeing the country.  

Accompanied by his lawyer, Inés Guardiola, Alves made his first weekly court appearance on a Thursday, as tomorrow is a holiday.

The Brazilian footballer arrived at 9:15 am and left a few minutes later after he signed a statement confirming his presence in court.

Dani Alves will also be required to stay one kilometer away from the victim's home and work and not to contact her by any means. 

Why is he being released?

Although Dani Alves was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison last month for sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub, both he and the prosecutor have appealed the verdict.

The football star, who has been in preventive detention for 14 months, left prison on Monday pending the outcome of his appeal. If the sentence is upheld, he would have to return to prison immediately.

In Spain, there are only three reasons to keep someone in preventive detention: the risk of reoffending, the risk of destroying evidence, and the risk of fleeing.

The court has kept Alves in prison because of his flight risk, based on his economic capacity, and because he also holds a Brazilian passport, and the country does not usually extradite its nationals.

But now Alves' defense team is arguing that he has already served a quarter of his sentence, that he has less economic capacity, and that he will not flee. "I believe in justice, I will not flee," Alves told the court.

Despite opposition from the prosecution and the victim's legal team, the judges agreed with Alves' defense, saying that the sentence was much lower than the 9 years requested by the prosecution and the 12 years requested by the victims' defense.