The Prosecutor’s Office opposes the accusation of Laporta in the ‘Negreira case’

Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 8:23 p.m.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has presented an appeal requesting the judge to revoke the accusation of the current president of Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, in the ‘Negreira case’. A month ago, the Barça leader was included in the list of those investigated in the criminal case opened by the investigating judge Joaquín Aguirre, along with the Enríquez family, father and son, and the previous presidents of the club, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, among others. All of them, including Laporta, are charged with the crimes of bribery, sports corruption, disloyal administration and document falsification. Barça paid 7.5 million euros over 18 years to the then vice president of referees, José María Enríquez Negreira.

Laporta was not charged at first because it was considered that in his case the crimes had expired. This is the argument of the Prosecutor’s Office to appeal the judge’s order and demand that the investigation of the Barça president be archived. The payments were made between 2001 and 2018. Barça stopped paying large amounts of money in exchange for reports to the Enríquez family when Negreira Sr. ceased to be vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA).

Laporta has always denied the judge’s accusations. He assures that it will not be possible to prove that the club paid the referees, because in his opinion Barça has never bought the referees, and he also accused the “sociological Madridism” of committees, judges and organizations of orchestrating a campaign to attack Barça through the ‘Negreira case’.

«Systemic corruption»

The Prosecutor’s Office believes that the crimes, in the case of the current culé president, have expired, even if they were continued. The Prosecutor’s Office complaint was presented in 2023, more than 10 years after Laporta abandoned the presidency of the club in his first stage at the head of the entity (2003-2010). The judge, on the other hand, stated that it was appropriate to investigate him, from the premise that the limitation period begins on the day of the last payment made by the club, in July 2018, which is when the alleged legal infraction was committed for the last time. . “Laporta ended his presidency on June 30, 2010, so responsibility for his possible crimes expired 10 years later,” according to the Public Ministry.

The judge maintains that the payments that Barça made to the Enríquez “produced the desired arbitration effects, 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, which does not mean that each and every one of the referees were corrupt, but a group of them were. “In conclusion,” the magistrate concluded in his last order, the acts carried out by the former vice president of the CTA “had to necessarily benefit Barcelona to the detriment of the rest of the clubs in the First Division League or their rivals in the Copa del Rey. ». “Such acts could only refer to biased arbitration appointments,” he assured.

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