Leicester players expect to be cleared of rape charges tests

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The Independent Online

Lawyers for three Leicester City footballers charged with rape in Spain are formally applying for them to be cleared after forensic tests showed no link between them and their three accusers.

Leicester City chief executive Tim Davies said lawyers for Paul Dickov, Frank Sinclair, and Keith Gillespie would make the application to a Spanish judge for charges to be dropped.

He said it was not yet known whether the men would be cleared, contradicting media speculation last week to the contrary. But Mr Davies said yesterday: "There is nothing that links our players with the girls."

The players were accused of rape by three German-based African women while they were training in La Manga, southern Spain in March.

Leicester City's formal application is expected to include evidence uncovered in a sting by the News Of The World newspaper that the alleged victims "were not business-women", as they claimed, but prostitutes, Mr Davies said.

The case is to be heard by the same judge, Jacinto Areste, who released the players on bail in March. Mr Davies said: "He needs to sit down and consider everything and decide how he is going to proceed."

A new hearing is expected to be held within the next two to three weeks at a court in Cartagena, Spain.

Mr Davies said details of the forensic tests on the women's underwear and personal items, carried out by scientists in Madrid, emerged on Monday morning when they were sent to the court.

"The judge will decide in accordance with the evidence," said Mr Davies. "You would expect it would be good news."

Earlier a spokeswoman for the club said: "From the start, we have trusted the players and were confident in what they were saying."

The fresh legal move by the players' lawyers is also set to ask for five others initially arrested over the alleged incident to be formally cleared. Dickov, 31, Gillespie, 29, and Sinclair, 32, have been released on bail worth a total of £200,000.