Anti-corruption prosecutors Luis María García Cantón and Ricardo Saez Garea have appealed to the Barcelona Court against the accusation of the current president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, in the Negreira case of alleged bribery, considering that the statute of limitations for crimes begins when He leaves the presidency in his first term, in June 2010, and not, as the judge computes from the last criminal offense, in July 2018 (that is, he could be investigated until 2008). The case investigates the payment by the Barça entity of 7.6 million euros to the former referee leader Enríquez Negreira and his son, Javier Enríquez Romero, for 18 years.
The prosecution emphasizes in its brief that, having passed more than 10 years until the prosecution’s complaint was filed, in 2023, which, furthermore, was not directed against him, these possible crimes would be statute-barred, regardless of the applicable criminal offense. including possible bribery, an issue on which they have not yet ruled.
For the prosecution, it makes no sense, even constructing the continuing crime, as the judge does, that the president of the club be prosecuted for the acts committed by the following. That is, the also accused Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, who succeeded him in office. “Laporta can only be held responsible for the facts and omissions that can be attributed to him, that is, those over which the person now under investigation could have control” of the action, “intended for a certain purpose and with full capacity to desist” from the action. performance.
There was no agreement
The appeal, to which El Periódico de Catalunya, from the Prensa Ibérica group, has had access, specifies that the option, nor the “mere possibility”, of the existence of an agreement between the presidents under investigation and the people who They make up the successive boards of directors of Barça. “At no time has it been considered that the different participants acted in a kind of distribution of roles,” the prosecutors point out. “Each president, each board of directors, is responsible, where appropriate, for the payments made to Enríquez Negreira during the period in which they held their positions, “without the payments made by Bartomeu or these being attributed, for example, to Rosell. made by Laporta”. And even more so taking into account that there is “not even the slightest indication” of any agreement between the leaders of FC Barcelona on the disbursements to the former referee leader or his son.
The prosecutors emphasize in their letter that the presence of Barça as a “common element”, nor does it add “nor does it take away from the “individual” criminal responsibility of each of its presidents or directors for “their own acts” and their consequent legal classification of the club, which is also accused. In the case of Laporta, in addition, the Penal Code in force at that time must be applied to him and the statute of limitations for the crimes would be 10 years.
For the public ministry “it does not seem admissible” to consider that the prescription attributable to Laporta, who has also appealed his accusation, is the last payment to Enríquez Negreira, in 2018, when he stopped being president of the club in his first stage on December 30. June 2010. The prosecutors conclude: “In our case, Laporta ended his presidency on June 30, 2010, so the responsibility for his possible crimes expired 10 years later (July 1, 2020), far from March 2023 in which the prosecution’s complaint was admitted.” In that complaint, the public accusation no longer eluded Laporta as a defendant due to the statute of limitations of the crime.
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