Spanish prosecutor drops fraud charges against Neymar and others

BARCELONA — Spanish prosecutors on Friday dropped all fraud and corruption charges against Brazilian forward Neymar and other defendants in the 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona.

Prosecutors have sentenced Neymar to two years in prison and a fine of €10 million ($9.95 million) in a lawsuit brought by Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s rights while he was at Santos. I was asking for payment.

DIS claims it lost a fair cut from the transfer because its true value was underestimated.

Prosecutor Luis García Canton said in a Barcelona courtroom that there was “absolutely no indication of a crime” after all defendants testified, and asked the judge to “not guilty all defendants”.

Prosecutors were also seeking five years in prison and a fine of €8.4 million for former Barcelona president Sandro Roselle.

At the start of the trial, the DIS said it would sentence Neymar to five years in prison and fine the defendants a total of €149 million.

Neymar has the right to make a final decision via videoconference next Monday, the final day of the trial.

Court documents released in July show that Barcelona began negotiations with Neymar in 2011 and paid him €40 million to secure his move when his contract with Santos expired in 2014. paid the

“I think it’s excessive to consider it a crime to offer 40 million euros,” the prosecutor said, calling it a signing bonus.

Before prosecutors dropped the charges, Rosell had disregarded the €40 million payment.

“It’s like buying an apartment and paying a down payment…you’re paying to get a preferential future right to what you want to get,” the former Barcelona chief testified.

José Domingo Barral, former president of Grupo Sonda, the Brazilian conglomerate that includes DIS, told the court that Barcelona representatives had offered 5.5 million euros twice (the most recent in 2015) to drop DIS’s lawsuit. Told.

The DIS received €6.8m (40% of Neymar’s official transfer fee of €17.1m), but Barral said the figure was unrealistic given the player’s valuation.

Joan Faus and Fernando Callas