The family of the visiting Spaniard who was behind the wheel for the car crash that killed prominent Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya has hired a Havana-based attorney to represent him, Spanish diplomats told Efe here Wednesday.

Angel Carromero's family retained an attorney from a firm that specializes in representing foreign companies and individuals before the Cuban courts.

The priority at this stage is for the lawyer to be able to see Carromero as soon as possible in the jail where he is being held and to file a habeas corpus motion to get him released, Spanish Consul-General Tomas Rodriguez-Pantoja said.

Carromero, who heads a youth group in Spain's governing Popular Party, is being held on a potential charge of manslaughter for the July 22 accident in which Paya and his colleague Harold Cepero died.

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

Cuban authorities, who blame the accident on excessive speed and a failure to heed warning signs, have opened a file on the case and although prosecutors have still not presented a formal accusation, judicial authorities decided to hold Carromero provisionally in jail.

Under Cuban law, "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." EFE