Neymar’s fraud and corruption charges are dropped by Spanish prosecutors
All fraud and corruption charges against footballer Neymar have been dropped dramatically by Spanish prosecutors.
The prosecutor announced the “removal of all charges against all of the accused and for all of the allegations” they had faced.
They had previously demanded a two-year prison sentence and a ten million euro (£8.6 million) fine for the Brazilian star’s transfer to Barcelona from Santos in 2013.
The case was brought by the Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s rights when he was at Santos. DIS claims it was cheated out of its fair share of the transfer because the true value was understated.
Neymar, 30, had said he did not remember if he took part in the negotiations which led to a 2011 agreement with Barcelona over his transfer two years later.
A source close to the Neymar family told Reuters that their legal representative Baker Mckenzie would claim costs against the private prosecution for what they consider recklessness, acting in poor faith, and for abuse of process.
They will also reserve the right to claim damages.
‘There is not the slightest hint of crime,’ prosecutor Luis Garcia Canton said after all defendants had testified in the trial in Barcelona, asking the judge for the ‘acquittal of all defendants.
The prosecution had also sought a five-year jail term for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and a £ 7 million fine for Barcelona.
At the start of the trial, DIS said it was demanding a five-year jail term for Neymar, and a total fine of £128million fine for the defendants.
The trial was the culmination of a years-long legal saga over Neymar’s 2013 move to Spain.
He later joined Qatar-owned PSG in a world record £190million transfer in 2017.
Neymar was one of nine defendants on trial on corruption-related charges, among them his parents and their N&N company, which manages his affairs.
Investigators began probing the transfer after a 2015 complaint filed by DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40 percent of the player’s sporting rights when he was at Santos.
Barcelona said the transfer cost £49million, but prosecutors believe it was at least £71million.
The club said it paid £34million to N&N and £15million to Santos, of which £5.8million was given to DIS. But DIS alleged that Neymar, Barcelona, and the Brazilian club colluded to mask the true cost of the deal.
Among the other defendants were two former Barca presidents, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, and ex-Santos boss Odilio Rodrigues Filho.