The Court releases Santi Mina

Santi Mina upon arrival at the Provincial Court of Almeria for the last session of the trial in an archive image from April. / EP

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The current soccer player in the Saudi league, sentenced to four years in prison in the first instance for sexual abuse, will only have to continue communicating each change of residence that he may have

The Provincial Court of Almería has agreed to release the footballer, sentenced to four years in prison in the first instance for sexual abuse, Santi Mina, who has finally appeared in person to the "surprise" of the court at the hearing where the petition was decided admission to prison made by the private prosecution. The Third Section had authorized him to intervene via videoconference from Saudi Arabia, in whose league he has been a member since August.

The court has taken into account in making this decision that, throughout the entire judicial process, the footballer, who has accessed the Palace of Justice through a side emergency door, "has always been available" to justice and has communicated the changes of residence, for which they have concluded "that there is no risk of flight."

Likewise, the Third Section has rejected the withdrawal of the passport that the Public Prosecutor has requested after Mina decided to emigrate to a country without an extradition agreement with Spain and only asked the footballer to continue communicating each change of residence that he may have.

At the end of the appearance of article 505 of the Lecrim, which has lasted more than an hour and a half, and in which Mina has only been able to intervene by making use of her right to the last word after the court did not agree to her request to testify, his lawyer, Fátima Magdalena Rodríguez, has justified the sudden appearance of his client as a "procedural strategy"

«He has come because he does not flee from justice. He has no fear and he has nothing to hide. He was not able to tell us until the last moment if he could come or not because, as you know, he had a game until two days ago », he said, adding that the court itself« did not know that he was coming ».

To questions from journalists, Rodríguez has also admitted that, despite the fact that the court at the request of the defense itself authorized his electronic appearance, we were prepared for you to leave him a little quiet, despite how things have turned out well «. “It's very stressful for him. We are very satisfied with the result, as it had to be, of course «, he has transferred.

In line with this, he has stated that the decision to move from Saudi Arabia to Almería responds to his intention to demonstrate that "he is available to justice whenever he needs it, nothing more." “In the end, what we want to show is that Santiago Mina is not afraid of justice. And that he is here subject to Spanish law and the Spanish courts. And he will be there whenever needed. Like he did today. Knowing that a precautionary measure of provisional prison or passport withdrawal could be adopted, ”said the soccer player's lawyer.

Rodríguez has insisted that "everything has gone very, very well" and has considered that the prosecutor's request to withdraw the passport "was enough" compared to the request of the private prosecution to enter provisional prison until the resolution of the resources of appeal to the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA).

Finally, regarding the fact that Santiago Mina opted for the Saudi team's offer to play the 2022-2023 season, he assured that it corresponds "not only to him, but also to his team." «He has not had more offers than the one from a Greek team and the one from the Al Shabab team, he has not had any more. And he has decided to go to Riyadh by decision of his and his team. It was a joint decision », he has concluded.

"Follow your free will"

For his part, the victim's lawyer, after the resolution that has been issued 'in voce' at the request of the convicted person, has considered it "incomprehensible" that given the circumstances and, despite the prosecutor's request, the court "has not even agreed to withdraw the passport and the only thing that has been imposed on him is that he determine his domicile in Saudi Arabia ».

"Everything stays the same. In other words, despite the fact that it has been revealed, especially by the prosecutor, not only the fact that there is a risk of flight, but also that he is in an ideal situation so that, in the event that there is an appeal for entering prison, it was at his free will to decide whether to serve a sentence or not; the court has accepted the arguments of the defense, that is to say that it is only temporary and that there is no risk of flight », he has moved.

The lawyer Iván Bolaño has pointed out that, "unfortunately", the fact that the appearance will be enabled by telematic means "already announced to us what the fate of this appearance was, even against the prosecutor's office which, in its report, has strongly maintained that his passport be withdrawn. He has pointed out that Santi Mina has made use of the right to the last word, in which he has said that "he is always available to justice". "He has ensured that he returns, that at all times he is available to justice," he concluded.

On August 25, the private accusation interested the court in the interim prison of the soccer player while waiting for the appeals against the sentence announced to the Andalusian high court to be resolved. He estimates that Santi Mina's march to Saudi Arabia to wear the Al Shabab team shirt during this 2022-2023 season has meant a "disproportionate increase in the risk of fleeing from justice."

The Provincial Court of Almería sentenced Santi Mina to four years in prison in May and acquitted fellow footballer David Goldar, against whom the Public Prosecutor's Office did not file an accusation, although the victim put him on the bench considering him a necessary cooperator.

The sentence imposed on Mina, who would not have acted with violence or intimidation as the prosecutor considered to qualify as a crime of sexual assault, but with precedence, the measure of probation for a period of five years and the payment of compensation of 50,000 euros for moral damages.

In addition, it prohibited him from approaching within 500 meters of the victim, her home or any other frequent and from establishing with her, by any means of direct communication, computerized or telematic, written, verbal or visual contact, all for twelve years. .

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