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High court demands Neymar testimony at corruption trial
The prosecutor at the Audiencia Nacional (High Court) has requested that Neymar testify as one of the accused in the fraud and corruption scandal surrounding his signing for Barcelona Football Club.
According to the radio station Cadena Ser, the prosecutor has also asked for the club president, Josep María Bartomeu, the ex-president, Sandro Rosell, and the player's father to stand trial.
"The prosecutor... considers it appropriate for him as to appear as accused," the court, which specialises in financial affairs and terrorism, declared on Friday.
An investigation was opened after a complaint of "fraud" and "corruption" was filed by the Brazilian investment fund DIS, which held 40% of Neymar's sports rights when he played at Santos.
DIS, which had also filed a complaint in Brazil, has claimed it was cheated of its real share of the benefits of 23-year-old Neymar's transfer in 2013, which it insists was minimised by Barça and Santos.
The deal was originally valued at 57.1 million euros by the Catalan club, but the Spanish judicial authorities have estimated the amount to be at least 83.3 million.
On March 23rd last year, the prosecutor requested a prison sentence of two years and three monthsfor Bartomeu, and seven years and six months for, as well as fines of 3.8 million euros and 25.1 million euros respectively, and for the club to pay Hacienda (the tax office) 11.4 million euros compensation and a fine of 22.2 million euros.
A Brazilian court has also taken action freezing $47 million in assets belonging to Neymar over tax evasion allegations between 2011 and 2013.
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