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Levante

Levante defender Toño's lawyer: extortion accusations "nonsense"

Lawyer of arrested Levante defender Tono brands extortion accusations as 'nonsense'

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Tono was arrested on Friday, reportedly on suspicion of extortion and threats, but his lawyer says there has been a "tremendous injustice".

The lawyer representing Levante defender Toño has described accusations made against the player as "nonsense".

The 29-year-old was arrested on Friday as part of a wide-ranging police investigation into a number of crimes.

Toño is being held in prison in Teruel along with six other individuals on suspicion of extortion and threats, pending further judicial investigations, according to EFE.

His lawyer, Emilio Pérez Moyá, says the player was denied bail as he is considered a flight risk.

He added that the case against Toño is "a tremendous injustice" and is bemused by the allegations given his client signed a lucrative new four-year contract with Levante only this week.

When asked why Toño is being held in prison, Moya told Spanish radio show El Larguero: "It's because the judge considers that there is a significant risk of absconding and that he has not cooperated with the justice administration and because he considers there is a possibility he may offend again.

"He considers that a person with a known address, a family, a professional career, a public person who can choose to escape, has not cooperated, despite him appearing before the Guardia Civil, allowing them access to his home, his mobile.

"He is in prison simply due to a terrible mistake and a tremendous injustice. The crimes he's been accused of? Yes, that's what a player who has just signed with his club for €1.5million usually does. It is nonsense."

Levante released a statement on Friday, which read: "Given that judicial proceedings are subject to summary secrecy, Levante UD, without any prejudice, shows our support for the player and his family because we are unaware of the circumstances that led to the investigating judge to take such action.

"For the respect the footballer deserves in such difficult moments and for his presumption of innocence, for the moment there will be no further news from the club about the cause of his detention. We will not make any more public statements about this situation."

Tono has made 17 LaLiga appearances this season for Levante, who face Deportivo Alaves on Monday.