The Court of Instruction number 1 of Barcelona has accepted for processing the complaint of the Prosecutor's Office against Barça, as a legal entity, the former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, the managers, Óscar Grau and Albert Soler and the former vice president of the Technical Committee of Arbitrators (CTA), José María Enríquez Negreira, for the continued crimes of corruption in business, unfair administration and false commercial documents. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor will be in charge of the investigations, as announced by the State Attorney General's Office since they are "crimes related to corruption of special importance."
Specifically, the magistrate has opened the proceedings for the continued crimes of corruption between individuals in the sports field, unfair administration and false commercial documents. She now orders the Civil Guard to carry out the appropriate procedures to find out the reasons for the payments from FC Barcelona to the companies and people involved. Once said documentation of the police investigation has been received, a decision will be made on the statement of those investigated and witnesses requested.
In this way, the court will investigate whether "through the presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barça reached and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement" with the accused Enríquez Negreira to "in exchange for money, carry out actions tending to favor the Barcelona in the decision-making of the referees in the matches played by the club and thus in the results of the competitions", as the Prosecutor's Office considers.
In addition to informing each of those investigated that the procedure is beginning, the court also orders the Civil Guard to carry out the corresponding investigations to analyze the numerous documentation provided by the Prosecutor's Office and the Tax Agency in relation to the companies of Enríquez Negreira and of his son, Javier Enríquez Romero, in relation to the payments they received from Barça in recent years for work carried out on arbitration advice and reports. The court wants to know if these works were carried out, as some executive said before the Prosecutor's Office when he came to testify.
Precisely, Javier Enríquez Romero is the only person in the procedure at this time since the court received the complaint filed against him and his father by Xavier Estrada Fernández, referee of the video arbitration (VAR) collegiate team, for alleged crime corruption and sports fraud. Estrada's lawyers paid the bail of 3,000 euros that the court requested to be a popular accusation. The Court of Instruction number 1 of Barcelona also admitted the complaint for processing and unifies everything in the same procedure.
The judge also opens a separate piece for Enríquez Negreira to appear since in his complaint Estrada asks that he pay a 10,000-euro bond to ensure economic responsibilities for this procedure.
Now it is waiting for it to be decided which parties can be considered injured in this procedure. LaLiga is already in person and Real Madrid and the Higher Sports Council are expected to do so, as they announced a few days ago. With all the private accusations, the court must decide whether to accept all of them or to do so collectively, so only one must represent the rest.
The judicial decision opens the door for more affected by Barça's payments to Negreira to allegedly obtain arbitration favor to appear in court since they allegedly did so to adulterate the competition, according to the Public Ministry. Now, the reasons for the money that Barça allegedly gave to the then 'number 2' of the referees must be investigated, close to five million euros between 2011 and 2018, the period investigated, as well as the destination of the money he took in Negreira cash from their companies.
In her order, the judge points out that "from the documentation provided" for the complaint there are indications that Barça paid Enríquez Negreira's companies "from 2001 to 2018, during his vice presidency at the CTA, they exceeded 7.3 million euro". Two million of them were under the presidency of Sandro Rosell "all of which represented a real remuneration not provided for in the Club's Statutes or approved by the General Assembly for which it lacked a title to justify it".
Therefore, it is urged to investigate these crimes and it is recalled that Enríquez Negreira and his son received these amounts for "arbitral advice and follow-up, in order to guarantee arbitration favorable to the interests of FC Barcelona". In addition, the court recalls that when Estrada's complaint was filed, the investigation by the Prosecutor's Office was stopped without the Police completing their inquiries. That is why it urges the Civil Guard to "determine the reason or work for which the payments made by FC Barcelona to the companies Dasnil 95 S.L and Nilsad SCP were made, as well as the destination charged by said companies given that there is no increase according to the Tax Agency, in such a way that it would be pertinent to carry out a patrimonial investigation of José María Enríquez Negreira and his immediate environment".
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