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Bartomeu is provisionally released on charges

2021-03-02T15:50:07.158Z

The former president of FC Barcelona, ​​Josep María Bartomeu, and the former director of the club's presidency area, Jaume Masferrer, were provisionally released with charges this Tuesday morning in the framework of the investigation known as “Barçagate”.



Barçagate: Bartomeu did not testify and was released 2:02

(CNN Spanish) -

The former president of FC Barcelona, ​​Josep María Bartomeu, and the former director of the club's presidency area, Jaume Masferrer, were provisionally released with charges this Tuesday morning after passing before the Justice in the framework of the investigation known as “Barçagate”.

Both former directors were arrested on Monday and are being investigated for the crimes of unfair administration and corruption in business, reported the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia.

Both Bartomeu and Masferrer left the Court of Instruction number 13 of Barcelona after availing themselves of their right not to testify.


CNN has tried on multiple occasions to contact the defenses of both investigated to obtain more details, although without success so far.

This case, which is still in the investigation phase, investigates possible irregularities that the club would have committed by undertaking alleged viral campaigns to discredit institutions and people critical of the management of the previous board, led by Bartomeu himself.

As a result of this instruction, agents of the Central Area of ​​Economic Crimes of the Mossos d'Esquadra, the autonomous police of Catalonia, carried out five raids on Monday in the surroundings of the Barça club with the aim of gathering information that could be used for the investigation.

LOOK: Barçagate: Bartomeu refused to testify after his arrest, he was already released

Although it was not ordered by the investigating court, the Mossos ended up arresting four former directors and current executives of the institution.

In addition to Bartomeu and Masferrer, Óscar Grau, current executive director of FC Barcelona, ​​and Roman Gómez Ponti, responsible for the club's legal services, were also arrested.

After spending several hours held at the Mossos police station, located in the Barcelona district of Les Corts, Grau and Gómez Ponti were released without charge, at the disposal of the Justice in case they are required, according to their lawyers.

For their part, Bartomeu and Masferrer spent the night in police stations waiting to be brought to justice this Tuesday.

In a statement published hours after the raids began, the club affirmed that it respects the ongoing judicial process and the presumption of innocence of those affected.

In addition, he showed his willingness to collaborate with the authorities to "clarify the facts that are being investigated."

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All this happens a few days before the presidential elections are held in the club scheduled for Sunday, March 7.

Elections that were called after the resignation of Bartomeu and his board last October.

With this decision, Bartomeu's team put an end to several months of criticism for the sports drift that the first team was dragging, as well as for the tension generated in August 2020 before the possible departure of soccer player Lionel Messi.

Such was the malaise, that even different candidates for the presidential elections, as well as associations from the Barcelona environment, decided to present a vote of no confidence against the board of directors led by Bartomeu.

LOOK: Police of Catalonia raided the offices of FC Barcelona for the "Barçagate"

The controversy over this alleged smear campaign jumped to the media in February 2020, when the Cadena SER radio station published that FC Barcelona had contracted the company I3 Ventures to "create states of opinion on social networks."

According to the station, this organization would have generated content on social networks attacking "people from different areas of the Barça ecosystem", including first team players, to "protect the image of the club president."

The information was flatly denied by Bartomeu and by the club itself through a statement.

In that note, the institution alleged that it only had contracted monitoring services in social networks "in order to be aware of both the positive and negative messages" of which it is subjected to "protect and preserve" its reputation and that of the people linked to the club.

Josep Maria Bartomeu

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-03-02

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