A Brazilian judge has thrown out a tax evasion case against soccer star Neymar, saying that the tax authorities needed to rule first. Neymar might still face legal trouble in Spain over his transfer to Barcelona.
The world-famous striker, his father, and two ex-president of Barcelona were accused of tax irregularities and submitting false documentation, allegedly connected to Neymar's image rights.
However, the judge refused to consider the case because Brazil's inland revenue still needed to finish their own deliberations.
"It is the understanding of the Federal Supreme Court that the accusation is not possible in tax cases before a final decision in the administrative realm," judge Mateus Castelo Firmino da Silva said on Friday.
The prosecutors claim a fraud concerning the image rights contracts from 2006, when Neymar played for a club in his home city of Santos. Neymar, who is now 23 years old, was only a teenager at the time.
The indictment also alleges that three companies linked to Neymar's relatives were all involved in a scheme to avoid taxes during negotiations to take him to Barcelona, between 2011 and 2013.
"Neymar's conduct, along with the others accused, caused millions in losses to the public coffers," a Santos state attorney said Tuesday.
The Barcelona forward has defended himself on his website, accusing the prosecution of "seeking the limelight."
The Brazilian prosecutor said he would appeal the Friday court decision after the carnival, which ends next Wednesday.
Last week, a Sao Paolo judge ruled that Neymar and his father would have to pay back nearly $113,000 (103,000 euros) in taxes to the Brazilian authorities in a separate case relating to wrongdoing in 2007 and 2008.
Trouble in Catalonia
Earlier this week, Neymar also appeared before a Spanish court to provide evidence about disputed payments connected to him joining Barcelona.
Neymar's transfer fee was initially undisclosed, until the club president at the time, Alexandre Rosell Feliu, confirmed it was 57.1 million euros.
However, his successor Bartomeu later said that the total cost had in fact reached 86.2 million euros after further payments to the player and his family.
A Brazilian company Grupo Sonda, which was entitled to 40 percent of the transfer money, claims it has been financially damaged.
dj/ng (Reuters, SID, AP, AFP)