Brazilian football star, Neymar has been cleared of fraud and corruption over his controversial 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona.
The PSG forward had been accused along with his father and the ex-presidents of Santos and Barcelona of deliberately hiding the true cost of his transfer.
Brazilian company DIS, which owned 40% of the rights to the player, had argued it lost out on its rightful cut from the transfer because the true value was understated. But the Spanish court said in a statement Tuesday that ‘it has not been proven that there was a false contract or that DIS was intended to be harmed.’
This is coming after Spanish state prosecutors dropped all charges during the trial last month. That left only the lawyers of DIS to continue arguing their case.
DIS had initially sought a five-year prison sentence for the 30-year-old Neymar. But following the withdrawal of the state prosecutors, DIS’ lawyers reduced their demands to two-and-a-half years of prison.
Neymar had previously told the court 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.
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 £ 49 million, 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.
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