Court says Alves must remain in custody over alleged sexual assault
Barcelona's public prosecutor's office opposes the release of football star Dani Alves.
Former Barcelona and Brazil star Dani Alves will remain in custody pending his trial for allegedly raping a woman as he is considered a high flight risk, the Provincial Court of Barcelona decided on Tuesday.
"There is an elevated risk of absconding, linked on the one hand to the high sentence that could be imposed because of the present case, the serious evidence of criminality against him and large financial resources that would allow him to leave Spain at any time," the court indicated in a statement.
The court believes that taking the 39-year-old's passport would not prevent him from leaving Spain "by air or sea or even by land without documentation."
If he were to return to Brazil, his homeland, the court believes he would not be handed over to Spain as the South American country does not usually extradite its citizens.
The public prosecutor's office opposed his release.
On January 2, a young woman alleged that Alves had raped her in the bathroom of a nightclub in Barcelona at the end of December.
The player, who initially denied knowing her, changed his story several times but later said they had consensual relations, according to sources close to the case.
Alves is on trial for the alleged crime of sexual assault -- which, in the Spanish penal code, includes rape.
The investigating judge ordered on January 20 that Alves be remanded in custody without bail, taking into account, among other things, the contradictions in his initial statements and the high risk of absconding.
After his arrest, the Brazilian player was sacked by his club Pumas UNAM in Mexico.
In a highly successful career, Alves made 408 appearances for Barcelona, with 391 of those coming in his first spell from 2008-2016.
The star won six La Liga titles, three Champions League crowns, and four Copa del Rey trophies.
At last year's World Cup in Qatar, he became the oldest player to represent Brazil at football's showpiece tournament.
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