The visiting Spaniard who was behind the wheel for the car crash that killed prominent Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya and another man may face criminal charges, a Spanish diplomat told Efe here on Tuesday.

Angel Carromero is being held on a potential charge of manslaughter for the July 22 accident in which Paya and his colleague Harold Cepero died, Cuban Communist Party daily Granma said.

Spain's consul general in Havana, Tomas Rodriguez-Pantoja, told Efe that the measure is being taken while the investigation is still underway, and that prosecutors requested his preventive detention as a precaution.

Rodriguez-Pantoja said that at present no formal charge has been brought against Carromero.

The Spaniard remains in custody at an Interior Ministry facility in Havana.

Officials at that facility told Carromero in person of his preventive detention status, according to Spanish diplomats.

Rodriguez-Pantoja and an aide were able to visit Carromero on Monday afternoon to offer him consular assistance.

The Spanish Embassy in Havana is currently working to help the Carromero family find an attorney in Cuba to handle the case.

According to the Cuban penal code, "the driver of a vehicle who, in breaking traffic laws or regulations, causes the death of a person, will be deprived of freedom from one to 10 years."

Carromero, who heads a youth group in Spain's governing Popular Party, Swedish citizen Aron Modig, Paya and Cepero were on their way from the Cuban capital to the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba in a rented car.

The vehicle, with the Spaniard at the wheel, ran off the road and crashed near Bayamo, a city about 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Havana.

Cuban authorities blamed speeding and other driver errors for the accident. EFE