9 March 2004
MURCIA – Three Leicester City footballers accused of sexual assault will have to stay in a Spanish jail while more forensic tests are carried out, lawyers said Tuesday.
Paul Dickov, Frank Sinclair and Keith Gillespie, who deny attacking three women, will appear before a judge Thursday.
Prosecution lawyer Encarnacion Gomez Diaz confirmed the prosecution and defence have asked for more forensic tests to be carried out.
She said the three women who made the original allegations were “tired” and were keen to return to Germany.
The Spanish authorities are trying to trace an English couple who were staying at the five-star Hyatt Regency Hotel in La Manga when the assaults were alleged to have happened, Gomez Diaz added.
“The judge has to find them,” she said. “Efforts are being made in that direction.”
Earlier the players’ lawyers said they were “optimistic” the players would be bailed, said club chief executive Tim Davies.
The players were “bearing up very well in the circumstances”, he added.
Davies said: “I get a sense that the lawyers are more optimistic at present and the timescale for this would be some resolution at some stage this week.
“I think resolution can be a number of outcomes. Either everybody returns back to England totally free of any charges, they might return back to England to face trial at another date, or it may be that the players stay in jail a little bit longer.”
“It is a very difficult time for the partners of the players. They are doing the very best they can in very difficult and trying circumstances.”
Davies, who arrived in Spain Monday night with a team of officials from the club, said he hoped the players would be released without charge, adding: “I’m always an optimistic person.”
He said he had returned to Spain to find out what the club could do to support the players and because he wanted to be sure that “justice can be done” and that “the right facts come out”.
Paul Dickov’s wife Janet and Frank Sinclair’s girlfriend Nicola Welleans visited them in Sangonera jail on Tuesday, and Keith Gillespie’s girlfriend Kelly Maguire went to see him Sunday.
The three players face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty.
They were among nine players arrested on Thursday after three women said they were assaulted in the hotel in La Manga, where Leicester City had been on a training break.
The other Leicester City players, released from custody, arrived back in Britain Friday.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news