Fraud and corruption charges have been dropped against Neymar and all other individuals in his trial; prosecutors wanted a two-year prison term for the Brazil forward over his move from Santos to Barcelona in 2013; Sources have said “the prosecution was reckless and in poor faith”
Spanish prosecutors have dropped all fraud and corruption charges against Brazil forward Neymar and other individuals accused over his transfer to Barcelona from Santos in 2013, the public prosecutor told a court on Friday.
Prosecutors wanted a two-year prison term for Neymar and the payment of a 10 million euros (£8.62 million) fine.
A source close to the legal team representing Neymar told Reuters that their legal representatives 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.
Last week, Neymar told a court he did not participate in negotiations over his transfer to “childhood dream” club Barcelona from Santos nine years ago, but had signed what his father had told him to.
“I didn’t participate in the negotiations. My father always took care of it and always will. I sign everything he tells me to sign,” Neymar told the court in Barcelona in his first testimony in the trial that began on Monday.
“Playing for Barcelona was always my dream, a childhood dream.”
What is the background to the Neymar trial?
The case centred on an allegation made by Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40 per cent of the rights to Neymar when he was at Brazil’s Santos, that it lost out on its rightful cut from the transfer because the value of the deal was understated.
The alleged offence of which Neymar Jr and his family were accused of is also not punishable by law in Brazil.
A court document released in July alleged that Barcelona initiated negotiations in 2011 with the player, paying him €40m to ensure his move when his contract with Santos expired in 2014 and thereby preventing other clubs from signing him.
“Our intention was to prepare a career plan for him in Europe, in which we had in place already established, could learn the language, etc. And knowing his dream to play for Barcelona, we signed that priority agreement with them,” the player’s father, Neymar da Silva Santos, told the court.
Neymar and his parents had the right not to testify but decided to do so, answering questions only from the prosecutor and from their own lawyers.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, appearing as a witness via videolink, told the court his club had made offers of €45m in 2011 and €36m in 2013 to sign Neymar but the player chose to join Barcelona instead.