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CRIME

Brazil’s Dani Alves detained in Spain on suspicion of sexual assault

Brazil defender Dani Alves was taken into custody in Spain on Friday over allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman at a Barcelona nightclub in December, police said.

Brazil's Dani Alves detained in Spain on suspicion of sexual assault
Brazil's Dani Alves arrested in Barcelona. Photo: Josep LAGO / AFP

The 39-year-old was summoned to a Barcelona police station where he was “taken into custody” and will now be questioned by a judge, said a spokesperson for Catalonia’s regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra.

Catalan police received a complaint on January 2nd from a woman who said Alves had touched her inappropriately, police said.

The alleged sexual assault took place at a popular Barcelona nightclub overnight December 30th-31st, according to Spanish media reports.

The player was accused of putting his hands down the woman’s pants, according to the reports.

Alves, 39, has confirmed he was at the night club at the time but has denied any wrongdoing, telling private Spanish television Antena 3 earlier this month that he has “never seen” the woman before.

“I was there, at that place, with more people having fun. Everybody knows I love to dance. Having a good time but without invading the space of others,” the former Barcelona and Juventus player added.

Alves, who now plays for Mexican side Pumas UNAM, was in Barcelona on holiday following his participation at the World Cup with Brazil in Qatar.

A Barcelona court said earlier this month it had opened a probe “into an alleged crime of sexual assault as a result of a complaint filed by a woman against a footballer”.

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CRIME

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The Moroccan suspect held in connection with a machete attack on two Spanish churches, killing a verger and badly injuring a priest, will undergo psychiatric testing, a court said Tuesday.

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The case is being handled by the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s top criminal court, with the judge in charge asking that “two doctors conduct a psychiatric evaluation of the suspect”.

The suspect, 25-year-old Yassine Kanjaa, was arrested at the scene after the attacks on two churches in the southern town of Algeciras last week.

The Audiencia Nacional said the psychiatric evaluation, which will be carried out by doctors from the court’s forensic department, would provide “information about the legal responsibility” of the “presumed jihadist”.

Prosecutors have opened a terror probe and, on Monday, the court remanded the suspect in custody without bail on murder and terrorism charges.

During the deadly incident on January 26th, the suspect entered San Isidro church and attacked its priest with a machete, leaving him seriously wounded before entering Nuestra SeƱora de La Palma.

There he attacked the verger and chased him out of the church where he killed him.

‘Targeted priests and infidels’

Court details released on Monday said the attacker had also injured three other people, including another Moroccan man whom he “considered an infidel” because he had renounced his faith.

It said Kanjaa’s actions could be “qualified as a jihadist attack directed at both priests who profess the Catholic faith, and Muslims who, according to the suspect, don’t follow the Koran”.

The court said the suspect fits the profile of a “self-indoctrinated terrorist who acts individually without direct ties to a specific terror group but operates in the name of jihadist philosophy”.

Last week, Spain’s left-wing government refused to rule out mental illness and the police have described him as “unstable”.

The court said Kanjaa became indoctrinated “rapidly” within the space of up to six weeks, citing witnesses as telling police that just before that, he “was drinking alcohol and smoking hashish”. Then he suddenly started listening “regularly to the Koran on his mobile phone”.

One of Kanjaa’s neighbours told AFP something similar on Friday, saying he had changed radically six weeks ago, growing a beard and wearing a long robe.

Officials have said Kanjaa was served with a deportation order last June but had no prior convictions and was not under surveillance.

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