Brazilian footballing superstar Neymar and other defendants have been cleared of all charges during his trial after Spanish prosecutors dropped the case regarding the issue of his transfer to Barcelona from Santos back in 2013.
The prosecutors were initially seeking a two-year prison term for Neymar and a 10 million euro fine in a case brought by Brazilian investment firm DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s rights when he was at Santos.
DIS had acquired Neymar’s rights when he was aged 17 in exchange for just two million euros but argued that the player’s sale to Barcelona was well below his real market value with the company missing out on lumps of money.
As a result, they were demanding a five-year jail term for Neymar, and a total fine of 149 million euros fine for the defendants.
Other than Neymar, the prosecutors had brought charges against his parents, the two clubs, former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, and ex-Santos president Odilio Rodrigues who have all been cleared.
“There is not the slightest hint of crime,” prosecutor Luis Garcia Canton told a Barcelona court after all defendants had testified, asking the judge for the “acquittal of all defendants”.
Neymar’s legal representative Baker McKenzie is likely to claim costs against the private prosecution for what her team consider recklessness, acting in poor faith and for abuse of process.
They will also reserve the right to claim for damages.
The Brazilian will have the right to have a final say next Monday on the trial’s last day.