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Prosecution demands Neymar, Barcelona be charged with fraud

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 Oct 2016

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Prosecutors have asked for charges of fraud and corruption to be brought against Neymar, Barcelona and Santos in relation to the Brazil international’s move to Camp Nou.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu and predecessor Sandro Rosell have also been named in the case, which has been raised by Brazilian investment company DIS.

National Court judge Jose de la Mata initially threw out the case in July over a lack of evidence, but that decision was overturned last month, and the prosecution has now called for the charges to be processed.

DIS claim they are due a 40 per cent cut of the fee that Barcelona paid to sign Neymar from Santos in 2013 – something they say they have not received in full, given the secrecy over the full cost of the transfer.

Barca initially claimed that Neymar cost a total of €57m, but the figure was later revealed to be much greater, with Bartomeu claiming over €100m was ultimately spent on the deal.

Barca have protested their innocence throughout the case, with Neymar insisting “I’m not a criminal” when the proceedings were initially thrown out.

The club insisted last month that they will prove their innocence, along with that of Neymar, Rosell and Bartomeu, when the case is taken to trial.

“In this trial, FC Barcelona will maintain the argument they have always defended during this long process and will demonstrate the innocence of all the investigated parties,” they said in a statement.

The case is unrelated to a second legal proceeding against Barca and Neymar, which concerned allegations of tax fraud in relation to his transfer.

Barca made a payment of €14.8m to Spanish authorities in back taxes and fines, while they also reportedly made a voluntary payment of a further €13.5m to settle the complaint.

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