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Dani Alves granted bail as he appeals sexual assault conviction

By primenewsghana
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Dani Alves has been granted bail as he appeals his conviction for sexual assault, which the victim's lawyer called a "scandal".

The former Barcelona player was found guilty of sexual assault in February and was sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

The court ruled that Alves raped the victim in a bathroom at an upscale Barcelona nightclub early on New Year's Eve in 2022. He has filed an appeal against the verdict.

A Spanish court then ruled on Wednesday that Alves can be released on bail if he pays one million euros (£854,000) and hands over his Brazilian and Spanish passports.

Ester Garcia, the lawyer of Alves' victim, told Spanish news outlet El món a RAC1 she is "surprised and outraged" and will appeal the decision.

She said. "It is a scandal that they let him go free... It seems that justice is being done for the rich.

"They said that he has a small financial capacity right now, but I have no doubt that he will get the million from wherever he is."

Under the conditions of the bail agreement, Alves is prohibited from leaving the country and cannot come within 1,000 meters of the victim or try to communicate with her.

The former Brazil international has been in custody since January 2023, when he was arrested, as he was considered a flight risk.

Brazil's federal constitution guarantees that no Brazilian citizen can be extradited by the country.

Inés Guardiola, representing Alves, said his client told the court via video conference on Tuesday he had no intention of fleeing the country.

The state prosecutor is also appealing the initial verdict and wants Alves' prison sentence increased to nine years.

Under Spain's penal laws, a rape conviction carries a sentence of between six to 12 years in prison. Sexual assault sentences range between one to five years.

There is no date yet for the new trial at a higher court in Barcelona. It can then go to the Supreme Court in Madrid.

It comes after it emerged Barcelona republished a page about Alves on the 'legends' section of their website.

Alves won dozens of titles with clubs including Barcelona and helped Brazil win two Copa Americas as well as an Olympic gold medal.

He played at his third World Cup, the only major title he has not won, in 2022.

Alves played for Barcelona from 2008-16, helping to win three Champions Leagues, and briefly rejoined the club in 2022.