L’Barcelona hearing began this Monday to judge the Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr, his parents and the former presidents of FC Barcelona Sandro Rosell i Joseph Maria Bartomeu, among others, for the striker’s signing by Barça in 2013. During the previous questions, the footballer’s defense asked that he not have to attend the seven sessions, planned until October 31, due to his professional activity. The presiding magistrate has admitted that last night Neymar was a Paris playing a game in the French league and has allowed that he and his mother do not have to be there until it is their turn to testify, which is expected to be this Tuesday in the early hours of the morning.
In turn, Neymar Jr’s defense has alleged that the footballer played a match last night in Paris with PSG againstOlympic Marseille, where he even scored the winning goal in Paris, and then had a doping control. This caused him to arrive in Barcelona in the morning. In fact, the presiding magistrate has admitted that while he was already in bed, Neymar was scoring the goal. He also explained that the calendar of the Ligue 1 French and Champions League to watch PSG matches and adapt the trial schedule. For this reason, the judge has allowed Neymar to be absent from the trial to rest until it is his turn to testify. His mother has also left and later his father.
The other defenses have also asked not to attend every day and even to be able to make the last turn to speak by means of video conference. The defenses have alleged that the contract for the signing of Neymar by Barça was already judged, and ended with a settlement agreement that condemned the Barcelona club for tax fraud and acquitted former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu. However, the accusations, prosecution and DIShave alleged that the previous case was for a fiscal crime, for not having paid the corresponding taxes, but not for the alleged illegality of the contract itself.
Neymar’s defense, in addition, has alleged that this case should be judged at Brazil, and that there the facts are not criminal, since corruption between individuals is not a crime. The representatives of DIS, private prosecution and which had 40% of Neymar’s federative rights, have provided new evidence such as advertisements and news from Brazil at that time and an expert on Brazilian law.
The striker, his parents and former Barcelona presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, among others, sit in the dock. According to the prosecution, the Santos, club of origin, Barça and the footballer simulated a signing that was lower than the real one in order not to pay what corresponded to the DIS investment fund, which had part of the footballer’s rights. The prosecution is asking for five years in prison for Rosell and two for the Brazilian star, but is asking for the acquittal of Bartomeu, who is only accused by DIS.
They are also accused Odilio Rodrigues Filho, then executive director of the Brazilian club Santos, where Neymar played, the Brazilian club itself, Neymar’s company N&N and Futbol Club Barcelona. FC Barcelona is accused of the same crimes and faces a total fine of 8.44 million euros, in addition to joint compensation with the other defendants of 3.2 million.