BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) – According to a Reuters witness, Brazil striker Neymar came in a Barcelona court on Monday to face a trial on fraud and corruption allegations stemming from his sale to Barcelona from Santos in 2013.
The complaint, the Brazilian investment group DIS, announced on Thursday that it was seeking a five-year prison sentence for the player.
(Guillermo Martinez and Elena Rodriguez contributed reporting, while Inti Landauro wrote and edited the piece.)
Neymar Arrives at Barcelona Court
Soccer Football – Brazil’s Neymar will face corruption charges in connection with his move to FC Barcelona – Barcelona Court, Barcelona, Spain – October 17, 2022 Brazil’s Neymar enters in court to face fraud and corruption allegations stemming from his 2013 move to FC Barcelona from Santos. Neymar Arrives at Barcelona Court on October 17, 2022.
Soccer Brazil's Neymar arrives at Barcelona court to face trial on fraud and corruption charges https://t.co/Cz3HUJhy5n pic.twitter.com/qVJmCi7QLn— Reuters (@Reuters) October 17, 2022
Prosecutors in Spain are seeking a two-year jail sentence and a punishment of 10 million euros ($9.8 million) for Neymar. They are also requesting a five-year prison sentence for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, as well as an 8.4 million euro punishment for the club.
The dispute revolves around the argument made by Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s rights when he was at Santos, that it was cheated out of its proper part from the player’s sale since the deal’s worth was overstated.
DIS has sought a more harsher five-year prison sentence for Neymar, as well as penalties totaling 149 million euros and the player’s suspension from playing for the duration of any punishment imposed by the judge.
Along with Neymar, 30, the accused include his parents, two club executives, former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Rosell, and former Santos president Odilio Rodrigues.
Neymar and his father, dressed in black, conversed and joked with former Barcelona president Rosell in a hall in front of where the trial began just after 10 a.m.
Neymar is due to testify on Friday, but he may request a date change.
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