Spain prosecutors drop fraud charges against Neymar

The dropping of the charges is the culmination of a years-long legal saga over Neymar’s high-profile transfer from Santos to Barcelona.

Neymar celebrates scoring a goal
Spanish prosecutors had sought a two-year prison term for Neymar [File: Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters]

Prosecutors in Spain have dropped corruption and fraud charges against football star Neymar and others accused in a trial over the Brazilian’s 2013 move from Santos to Barcelona.

Prosecutors had sought a two-year prison term for Neymar and the payment of a 10 million-euro ($9.95m) fine in the case brought by Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40 percent of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos.

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DIS argues that it lost out on its rightful cut from the transfer because the true value was understated.

“There is not the slightest hint of crime,” prosecutor Luis Garcia Canton said on Friday after all defendants had testified in the trial in Barcelona, asking the judge for the “acquittal of all defendants”.

The prosecution had also sought a five-year jail term for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and an 8.4 million-euro ($8.44m) fine for Barcelona.

At the start of the trial, DIS said it was demanding a five-year jail term for Neymar, and a total fine of 149 million euros ($148.2m) fine for the defendants.

A source close to the Neymar family told Reuters news agency 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 damages.

Source: News Agencies