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Joan Laporta & Co. exonerated from criminal charges linked with Negreira case

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

The start of 2023 saw Barcelona fall in the middle of the controversial Negreira scandal, which claimed that the club had bribed the former vice-president of the Referee’s Committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, in exchange for ‘favourable decisions’.

Since then, Barcelona have been involved in a constant legal battle with the authorities in their attempt to prove their innocence in the case.

Joan Laporta has found himself as the central focus of this legal battle, as some of those allegations were mired during his first term of presidency.

Laporta and co exonerated

However, in a major win for Barcelona, the 21st section of the Barcelona Court of Appeal has recently ruled in favour of the club and its president Joan Laporta, reports Mundo Deportivo.

The ruling exonerates Laporta and associates from the criminal charges linked to the Negreira case.

A major win for Laporta (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

This decision overturns the previous ruling by the Barcelona Investigating Court No. 1 in October 2023, which had implicated Laporta and other board members from the 2003-2010 period in the alleged payments made to Enriquez Negreira.

The Court’s decision hinges on the fact that Enriquez Negreira cannot be considered a public official, a key element in the charge of bribery.

As one would expect, the Court’s ruling has been welcomed by FC Barcelona, who have made significant ground and have won multiple legal battles linked to the Negreira case in the recent past.

In fact, it won’t be surprising to see the Negreira case go under a blanket, as authorities and investigations have found very little evidence, proving otherwise.

Bad news for Rossell and Bartomeu

The legal proceedings continue, with a different outcome for Sandro Rosell. His appeal against the lower court’s decision to keep him as an investigated party was rejected.

Rosell, who served as president from 2010 to 2014, remains implicated alongside Josep Maria Bartomeu (2014-2020 president), Oscar Grau (CEO from 2016-2021), and Albert Soler (director of professional sports from 2015-2021).

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