Dani Alves released from prison after paying €1m bail

Ex-Barça player temporarily freed after 14 months in preventive detention pending appeal in rape case

Dani Alves walking out of Brians 2 prison on March 23
Dani Alves walking out of Brians 2 prison on March 23 / Norma Vidal
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 25, 2024 12:25 PM

March 25, 2024 08:32 PM

Former Barcelona footballer Dani Alves has been released from prison after paying €1 million bail. The Brazilian walked out of Brians 2 prison near Barcelona at 4.30pm on Monday along with his lawyer. 

Although Alves has served only a quarter of his four-and-a-half-year sentence for sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022, the court agreed to release him while appeals from both him and the victim are settled.

In addition to the payment, Alves must surrender both his Brazilian and Spanish passports and is not allowed to leave Spain until his sentence is final.

The footballer will also have to appear in court every week and is ordered to stay one kilometer away from the victim's home and work and not to contact her by any means. 

Although the bail was announced on Wednesday, Alves failed to post the money by Friday and remained behind bars over the weekend.

There was speculation that the father of footballer Neymar Jr would help Alves post bail, but he announced on Thursday that he would not.

On Monday at noon, Alves managed to raise the funds and made the payment to the court. His release coincided with protests by prison workers in Catalonia

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 today 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.