DANI Alves changed his version of events about an alleged nightclub sexual assault to cover up his “infidelity”, his new lawyer has reportedly claimed.
A Spanish TV current affairs programme said Cristobal Martell had made the admission off-camera after visiting the former Barca star on Friday at Brians 2 Prison near Barcelona.
TVE programme ‘Hablando Claro’ published images of Mr Martell leaving the jail after a two-hour visit.
Reporter Dani Gonzalez who had been dispatched to the prison told a studio presenter: “A few minutes ago Dani Alves’ lawyer Cristobal Martell left the prison after a meeting with his client.
“They spent two hours talking.
“He told us off-camera because he didn’t want to make an official comment that the footballer is calm.
“Another of the important things he told is that Dani Alves gave his initial version of events when he was shock and changed his version of events afterwards to protect his wife because he didn’t want her to find out about the infidelity he had committed.”
The 39-year-old Brazil international, who enjoyed two spells at Barcelona before signing for Mexican side UNAM Pumas last year, claimed before his arrest last Friday he had never met his female accuser.
He is said to have admitted to having sex with her when he was questioned by a judge after his detention on suspicion of sexual assault.
The alleged inconsistencies in his statements have been linked to witness testimonies and CCTV footage showing the pair entering the toilet at iconic Barcelona nightclub Sutton where the 23-year-old woman says she was raped.
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Alves changed lawyers and hired high-profile Mr Martell, who former teammate Lionel Messi has used in the past to defend himself in his tax fraud case, after reports of the changes in his version of events started to emerge.
Overnight Alves’ Tenerife-born model wife Joana Sanz, who had shown her support for her husband after he was first linked to the alleged nightclub sex attack, removed nearly all the photos of them together from her Instagram.
The few pictures of them that remain are linked to advertising campaigns.
The couple married in Formentera off Ibiza in 2017.
Following the footballer’s arrest Joana, who Alves had accompanied back to Spain from Mexico after her mother died, wrote in a social media message: “I ask media who are outside my house to please respect my privacy at this moment.
“My mother died a week ago and I have barely begun to take on board that she is no longer with me for me to be tormented with the situation of my husband.
“I have lost the only two pillars in my life.”
CLAIMS SEX WAS CONSENSUAL
Hours before he was remanded in custody and before reports he was now admitting to sex with his female accuser but claiming it was consensual started surfacing, she posted a photo of them holding hands with the message ‘Together’ in English.
Alves’ ex-wife has been outspoken in her defence of the player, who was sacked by UNAM Pumas after his arrest.
Dana Dinorah said earlier this week: “I’m still in shock. It seems like it’s a nightmare and it’s not happening.”
Insisting she believed the father of their two children was innocent, the Brazilian-based businesswoman said in an interview with a Spanish TV programme: “Dani would never ever, ever do this.
“I say this because I’ve known him for 22 years and was married to him for 10.
“This has been a shock for me and for my children.
“I have two teenage children who are suffering.”
Initially it was reported Alves had been accused of putting his hands down his accuser’s underwear inside the nightclub before it emerged the woman had alleged she was slapped round the face and raped in a toilet.
Court officials have confirmed Alves is under investigation on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman, but has not confirmed the exact nature of the allegations against him.
His new lawyer is expected to submit a bail application shortly and argue the footballer is not a flight risk.
Even if he is released from prison in the next few weeks he is expected to be made to remain in Spain and have his passport taken off him while the criminal probe continues.
Investigations of the sort currently being conducted by the investigating magistrate can take months and even years in some cases to complete, although when suspects are being held in jail they speed up their probes as much as possible.
People under formal investigation can be held in prison without charge for up to four years in Spain, although the normal limit is two years.
Formal charges in Spain are only laid when an investigating magistrate rules there is sufficient evidence for a trial to take place and subsequently invites prosecutors to submit an indictment.
Both the state prosecutor and a lawyer acting for Alves’ female accuser are expected to oppose any bail application from his lawyer.
The final decision on a conditional release would be taken by a higher court and not the one that is currently investigating the footballer.