Spain prosecutors drop corruption and fraud charges against Neymar

© Albert Gea, Reuters

Prosecutors in Spain on Friday 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.

In a dramatic move, the prosecutor announced the "withdrawal of the charges against all the accused and for all the allegations" they had faced.

Neymar, 30, had said he did not remember if he took part in the negotiations which led to an agreement sealed in 2011 with Barcelona over his transfer two years later to the Spanish side from Brazilian club Santos.

Spanish prosecutors had sought a two-year prison term for Neymar, a key member of the Brazil team that will be heading to the World Cup in Qatar next month, and the payment of a 10-million-euro ($9.7-million) fine.

The dropping of the charges is the culmination of a years-long legal saga over Neymar's high-profile transfer to Europe.

He then joined Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain in a world record 222-million-euro transfer in 2017.

Neymar had been one of nine defendants on trial on corruption-related charges, among them his parents and their N&N company, which manages his affairs.

Even if he had been convicted, prison terms of two years or less are never enforced in Spain for a first-time offender.

Investigators began probing the transfer to Barcelona after a 2015 complaint filed by DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40 percent of the player's sporting rights when he was at Santos, the club where he rose to global prominence.


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