Barcelona news: Neymar should get a two year jail sentence on corruption charges recommends Spanish prosecutors
Neymar has been an integral part of FC Barcelona's success in recent seasons since his move from Santos. Though he has won a lot of accolades for his exploits in Spain and in Europe, his transfer to the European giants has always been surrounded by controversies. His transfer to Barcelona has been in the Spanish courts since last year with the prosecutors recommending at least a two-year jail sentence for one of the best player on the planet.
The case was filed by Brazilian investment company, DIS who owned 40% of Neymar's rights when he was in Brazil and have now alleged that the company received less amount than they were entitled to in his move to Barcelona. Judge Jose Perals has called for a two-year jail sentence and a fine of £8.54 million for the alleged corrupt practices.
Prosecutors have also requested for a five-year jail term for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell who was made to resign in 2014 on counts of fraud and corruption. The court though has dropped charges against current president Josep Bartomeu. In presenting their case on Wednesday, DIS also called for a five-year jail term for Neymar's parents and a mammoth €195 million fine for the club.
It is a known fact that sentences of two years or less are suspended for first-time offenders in Spain which will offer a respite for the Brazilian superstar. But DIS also want Neymar to be banned from playing football during any judicial sentence. The Catalans had struck a deal with the prosecutors back in June on a different case and also paid a £4.7 million fine to avoid tax evasion charges. Though judge Jose de la Mata archived the case in June, Spain's public prosecutor successfully overturned the ruling in September which led to the new hearing of the case.
The company have claimed that the real share of their money was taken illegally by Barcelona, Santos and Neymar's family. When the club had announced Neymar's signing, they had disclosed his transfer fee at €57.1 million of which €17.1 million was paid to Santos and the remaining €40 million to a company named N&N, owned by Neymar's family.
Spanish authorities believe that the real cost which Barcelona paid should have been accounting to €83.3m. DIS received €6.8m, 40 percent of the fee paid to Santos which is much less than what their real share would be. The 24-year-old signed a new deal with Barcelona in October and has already won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, the Champions League, the European Super Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and the Club World Cup during his stint with the Catalans.
Neymar's teammate, Lionel Messi was also involved in a tax evading case for which the Argentine had received a 21-month jail sentence. Messi has appealed against the sentence with the decision expected to go in his favour of not spending any time behind the bars according to Spanish rules for first-time offenders.
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