Neymar cleared of fraud but corruption trial awaits
By Joseph Cassinelli
MADRID (Reuters) - Brazilian forward Neymar has been cleared of fraud but still faces a corruption trial in Spain in connection with the value of his 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona, the Spanish National High Court said on Thursday.
The defendants in the trial will be the player, his parents, current and former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, FC Barcelona and NN Consultoria, the company Neymar started with his family, according to a court statement.
Bartomeu, Rosell, Barcelona and Santos also face trial on fraud charges, along with former Santos president Odilio Rodrigues, the statement said.
"We are very happy as this was a favourable decision for us," Altamiro Bezerra, an advisor to NN Consultoria told Reuters.
"It has eliminated the question of fraud in the contracts and we are also certain that we will be absolved of corruption."
The case stems from a complaint by DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40 percent of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos. It argues it lost out on its rightful cut from the transfer because the true value of the deal was understated.
Prosecutors said in November that Neymar should be fined 10 million euros ($11 million) and handed a two-year jail sentence.
For first-time offenders in non-violent crimes, sentences of two years and under are suspended in Spain and it is unlikely the player would serve any prison time. Continued...