Barcelona is accused of bribery in the Negreira case

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The owner of the Investigative Court 1 of Barcelonawhich investigates the Negreira case, attributes to all those investigated in the case an alleged bribery crimeincluding the FC Barcelona as a legal entity, according to information from Europa Press.

In this sense, the judicial order reported that the alleged bribery “has been consummated once the payment has been made, whether systemic corruption is proven or not.”

This case investigates the payments of FC Barcelona to the former vice president of the Technical Arbitration Committee (CTA), José María Enriquez Negreira through their companies; In addition, Negreira's son, Javier, Barça as a legal entity, the former Blaugrana presidents are also being investigated. Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeuthe former club directors Óscar Grau and Albert Soler and Negreira's company DASNIL 95 SL.

Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu with Neymar Jr.

Specifically, the judge attributes an alleged continued crime of passive bribery to Negreira as the perpetrator, and considers his son a necessary cooperator, while he attributes an alleged crime of active bribery to FC Barcelona and the former directors under investigation.

What is the crime of bribery?

According to Article 419 of the Spanish Penal Code, the crime of bribery is the following:

“The authority or public official who, for his own benefit or that of a third party, receives or requests, by himself or through an intermediary, a gift, favor or remuneration of any kind or accepts an offer or promise to carry out an act in the exercise of his position. contrary to the duties inherent therein or to not carry out or unjustifiably delay what should be carried out.”

In addition, the judge maintains that the payments amounting to 7.5 million from 2001 to 2018 represented an alleged crime of sports corruption, which is the crime for which the Prosecutor's Office and the referee Xavier Estrada Fernández presented the complaints that gave rise to the investigation.

“Systematic corruption” in arbitration

From what has been investigated so far, the judge knows that the payments lasted about 18 years and that they multiplied from 70 thousand euros per year to 700 thousand.

By logical deduction, the payments made by FC Barcelona satisfied the interests of the club based on their duration and the annual increase.

The judge also deduces that "the payments produced the arbitration effects desired by FC Barcelona, ​​in such a way that there must have been inequality in the treatment with other teams and the consequent systemic corruption in the Spanish arbitration as a whole."

He adds that Barça dispensed with Negreira's services as soon as he ceased to be vice president of the CTA, after which he “sent an intimidating letter to the former president of FC Barcelona Bartomeu indicating, in essence, that if they did not continue paying him he would reveal a series of events that could seriously harm the club.”

For the judge, from this letter "it is clear that Enríquez Negreira was aware that quite serious illicit acts had occurred in favor of FC Barcelona."

José María Enríquez Negreira.

Bribery of a public official

In the judicial order, Judge Joaquín Aguirre states that the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), of which the Arbitration Committee is a part, “has the status of a public legal entity for criminal purposes,” and therefore adds that its Managers should be considered officials for criminal purposes.

The judge also collects the jurisprudence on the crime of bribery, which affects public officials when they receive payments from an individual, that is, a bribe.

Regarding this crime, the judge warns that the bribery “has been consummated once the payment has been made, whether or not the systemic corruption of Spanish arbitration due to such payments is demonstrated.”

(With information from Europa Press)

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