New episode in Neymar’s trial, started on October 17. On Friday, the prosecutor of the Barcelona public prosecutor’s office announced ” withdraw the accusation against all the defendants and for all the facts” which they are accused of. The prosecution initially requested 2 years in prison and a €10 million fine against the Brazilian star.
In question: alleged irregularities noted during the transfer of Neymar to Barcelona in 2013, while he was playing for Santos, in the Brazilian championship. Announced in Catalonia in May 2013 for an official amount of €51.7 million, the transfer of the current PSG player has raised questions, to the point of alerting the Spanish tax authorities, who consider that the transfer has, in reality, around €107 million including bonuses.
Sandro Rosell, the main defendant in the trial on the alleged offense of fraud in the transfer of Neymar from Santos to Barça, was at the helm on Friday. A moment expected when five years in prison, the heaviest sentence of this trial, had been requested against him. Visibly marked, the former president of FC Barcelona reiterated his position: there was no fraud against DIS, the company which owned 40% of Neymar’s rights when he transferred from Santos to Barça in 2013. The 40 M (paid by Barça to Neymar’s family, editor’s note)are not a bribe but a transfer bonus he hammered. Josep Maria Bartomeu, his right arm questioned shortly after, went further stating ” not having known of a company called DIS “. Speeches coupled with those of the other defendants and experts who caused a dramatic change.
After initially asking for prison sentences for all the defendants in the case except Josep Maria Bartomeu, the Spanish public prosecutor changed his mind, demanding release for all. The Neymar clan, absent from the debates but expected by videoconference next Monday, could therefore emerge unscathed from the DIS accusation. In addition, no financial penalty was finally claimed for the companies targeted by this complaint: FC Barcelona, Santos FC and the company Neymar N & N.
DIS still says it is cheated in this case and maintains its accusations against all the defendants, with the exception of Nadine Gonçalves, the mother of Neymar, already cleared. The public prosecutor, for its part, considers that the contracts signed did not harm DIS. The decision is now in the hands of the president of the court, who will decide whether or not to follow the opinion of the prosecution.
Last week, Neymar and his father succeeded each other at the helm, declaring that they had opted for Barça for “heart” reasons. Josep Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, sitting side by side in the dock, were visibly satisfied at the end of the hearing on Friday, exchanging a few words with a smile. Next Monday, the defendants will be able to speak again before the judgment is rendered.
Asked on October 18 about his involvement in these alleged embezzlements, Neymar defended himself by assuring that he “signed everything his father told him to sign”.
In a press release, his communication company reacted by welcoming this case. “definitely closed” almost ten years after the transfer in question.