Neymar to testify in 2013 Barcelona transfer trial on Tuesday

BARCELONA – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Brazilian football star Neymar Jr. are set to testify on Tuesday against allegations of fraud and corruption when they moved to Barcelona from Santos in 2013.

In addition to the 30-year-old Neymar, eight other defendants are on trial, including his parents, two club representatives, former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell and former Santos president Odiglio Rodriguez. ing.

All defendants deny wrongdoing.

Judge José Manuel del Amo Sanchez has accepted Neymar’s defense request to testify on Tuesday instead of the originally scheduled Friday as PSG have a match scheduled for that day.

Spanish prosecutors are seeking two years in prison for Neymar and a fine of 10 million euros ($9.8 million). They also want Roselle to serve him in prison for five years and the club to fine him €8.4 million.

The lawsuit alleges that Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40% of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos, lost a fair cut from the player’s transfer because the value of the deal was underestimated. I am focused.

The DIS is seeking five years in prison for Neymar, fines worth a total of €149 million and disqualification from playing for the duration of the sentence.

The judge allowed Neymar and the rest of the defendants not to attend all sessions of the trial. The player arrived in Barcelona on Monday on a private flight from Paris, where he lives.

Neymar and his father talked and laughed with Roselle in the courthouse lobby before the trial started shortly after 10am.

Sitting on the defendant’s bench, Neymar appeared distracted at times, looking down and yawning.

He laughed when the judges said Neymar had scored in Sunday night’s decisive win against Olympique de Marseille.

Defense attorney Maria Masso said the player had committed no crime. He said the sentenced case took place in Brazil and argued that Spanish courts did not have the jurisdiction to prosecute the Neymar family.

Neymar, a member of the Brazilian squad heading to next month’s World Cup in Qatar, dismissed an appeal in the Spanish High Court in 2017, paving the way for a trial.

DIS said last week that the actual cost of the deal between Santos and Barcelona was €82m, but only €17m was shown as the official deal.

Fernando Callas and Joan Faus