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Saturday, October 29, 2022 – Spanish prosecutors have dramatically dropped all fraud and corruption charges against footballer, Neymar.
The prosecutor announced the ‘withdrawal of the charges against all the accused and for all the allegations’ they had faced.
They previously demanded a two-year prison term for the Brazilian star and the payment of a 10 million euros fine (£8.6million) over his transfer to Barcelona from Santos in 2013.
The case was brought by Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40 percent of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos. DIS argues that it lost out on its rightful cut from 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 for 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 an £7million 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 per cent 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.