Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been charged with suspicion of bribery pertaining to the ‘Negreira’ case. The club, under presidents Sandro Rosell, Joan Laporta and Josep Maria Bartomeu made payments to Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of the referee’s committee.
The court judge has ruled that the laws should apply retroactively from the last date of payment, which is until 2018 from 2001. This covers Laporta as part of his first tenure as president, who will appear alongside Rosell and Bartomeu to answer questions in front of the club itself, as well as a panel of judges.
Joan Laporta charged with bribery by Spanish court
As part of a public statement, Laporta has denied any wrongdoing on behalf of the club as well as himself. He has clarified that the €7.3 million paid to Negreira over 17 years was for technical information on how to better understand refereeing, and for reports on players from lower divisions.
However, a thorough investigation has continued which has seen the club and their current president accused of bribery. If found guilty, Joan Laporta faces a term of up to six years in prison, with Barcelona facing significant sanctions with the possibility of liquidation as well.
But all of it depends on the verdict of the case, once the hearing has been carried out. Laporta has maintained that the club’s legal team were aware of him being named as a possible suspect, and are processing with the legal procedure to prove their innocence.