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Brazil forward Neymar faces call for five-year prison term over transfer to Barcelona

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A Brazilian investment group wants Neymar to get five years in prison when he goes on trial next week. He is being accused of fraud and corruption related to his move from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.

DIS, which held 40% of the rights to Brazil forward at the time, claims it suffered losses because the transfer cost was too low.

The 30-year-old Neymar has refuted the claims, but in 2017 he was unsuccessful in his appeal before Spain’s High Court, which allowed Spanish prosecutors to proceed with the prosecution.

According to the court, the Paris St. Germain star will have to show up in person for the trial’s opening day in Barcelona, but it’s not clear whether he’ll be required to remain for the whole of the two-week trial.

The other defendants are Neymar’s parents, the two clubs, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Sandro Rosell, and Odilio Rodrigues, the former presidents of Santos and Barcelona, respectively.

Rosell has, furthermore, in the past, denied any misconduct.

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The Neymar family’s attorneys, Baker McKenzie, said that since Brazilian nationals committed the crimes outside of Spanish territory, Spanish courts “without jurisdiction to pursue the Neymar family and their firm N&N.”

Additionally, they note that the claimed offenses are not considered crimes in Brazil.

At age 17, DIS paid 2 million euros to buy a portion of Neymar’s rights.

Neymar’s transfer cost, according to Barcelona, was 57.1 million euros, of which his family received 40 million.

The remainder of the 17.1 million euros paid to the Brazilian team Santos, which totaled 40%, went to the investing company.

At a press conference in Barcelona on Thursday, DIS attorney Paulo Nasser said, “Neymar’s rights have not been sold to the highest bidder.” Several teams made offers of up to 60 million euros.

DIS is asking for a 149 million euro fine in addition to the five-year prison sentence and prison terms for Rosell and Bartomeu.

Spanish prosecutors are seeking two years in prison for Neymar, a punishment of 10 million euros, a five-year sentence for Rosell, and a fine of 8.4 million euros for Barcelona.

The Neymar family has also been charged with “corruption between private people,” which pertains to “competition of goods and services between corporations,” but Neymar “is not a service or a commodity,” according to Baker McKenzie’s statement.

The statement concluded by stating that the trade had infringed no Fifa regulations.

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