Neymar to appear in Barcelona fraud trial
02 February 2015, Nirapad News: Brazilian footballer Neymar is due to give evidence in a Spanish court over allegations of corruption and fraud surrounding his transfer to Barcelona.
The current and former president of the club denied wrongdoing at the court in Madrid on Monday.
Barcelona said it paid €57m for Neymar in 2013, his parents receiving €40m and Brazilian club Santos €17m.
But investigators say the fee was closer to €83m and Barcelona concealed part of the deal, reports the BBC.
The case was brought by Brazilian third-party investment fund DIS, which owned 40% of the Brazilian player’s sports rights.
DIS alleges it was financially harmed by the transfer when it received €6.8m of Santos’s €17m fee and argues it was deprived of its full share.
Barcelona Football Club President Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell appeared at the court in Madrid on Monday, insisting they had acted correctly.
In a statement on Monday, the club said they had repeated in court what they had said last year, ‘They are not worried and said they have confidence in justice,’ it added.
They are also accused in a separate case of defrauding the Spanish tax office of an estimated €13m. They deny the allegations.
Neymar’s father and mother were also set to appear at the National Court in Madrid on Tuesday.
Judge Jose de la Mata was expected to decide whether Neymar’s parents were to give evidence in person.
Neymar’s move to Barcelona has been a big success on the pitch. The striker became part of a goal-scoring trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
In 2015, Neymar, 23, helped the club win five trophies and came third in the Fifa Ballon d’Or competition. He also scored in the Uefa Champions League final against Juventus.
But he has also encountered legal difficulties in Brazil, where a court has frozen $47m of his assets in connection with suspected tax evasion between 2011 and 2013.