The judge in the Negreira case wants to get to the end. Silvia López Mejías, reinforcement magistrate of the court of inquiry 1 of Barcelona, gave the start yesterday to the judicial investigation which aims to clarify why FC Barcelona paid the vice-president of the Committee of Arbitrators for 17 years. In an interlocutory hearing in which he accepts Xavier Estrada Fernández's complaint and the prosecution's complaint, he specifies that the public ministry's investigation cannot be concluded and orders the investigation to continue to determine "the reason or actions for which "they made the payments made by Barça to Negreira's companies". Therefore, the prosecution's suspicions that Barça agreed with Negreira to "favor the club in arbitration decisions" will still have to be proven, but the judge wants to try. The period to be investigated is between 2011 and 2018, which affects the presidencies of Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu. All that is above has prescribed.
The judge also orders the investigation to change hands. If until now the case was handled by the National Police, the judge transferred it to the Civil Guard to carry out "the necessary investigative steps to find out the facts". The interlocutory supports the thesis of the Prosecutor's Office and appreciates indications that the facts embodied in the two complaints could be constitutive of a continuing crime of corruption between individuals in the sports field, a continuing crime of disloyal administration and a continuing crime of document falsification.
Once the additional investigation is concluded, which will continue for a few months, the investigated will be called to testify, that is, Sandro Rosell, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Òscar Grau, Albert Soler and Enríquez Negreira, and Barça, who will be represented by the lawyer Cristóbal Martell. The judge, in addition, opens the door to charge more ex-high officials of Barça who may have been related to the events, such as the general director, the executive director, the financial director and the head of the club's economic area between in the years 2011 and 2014. In addition, he accepts the personation as a private prosecution of the Professional Football League, which will have access to all the information of the investigation and will be able to ask for penalties for the accused once the investigation phase is concluded and before the oral trial opens.
One of the most surprising issues in the prosecution's report was the absence of Javier Enríquez, Negreira's son, as he was part of his father's companies that invoiced Barça and became a supplier to the club with the his own companies, with videos and reports on the referees from 2016. The jobs were paid through the company of former manager Josep Contreras so that Negreira's name was not related to the club, according to the Prosecutor's Office. Well, the judge rules out charging Negreira's son for the moment, because she considers him a mere figurehead for his father. He argues that he had a secondary role and that the direction and management of the Dasnil company was exercised exclusively by his parent. Proof of this, the judge points out, is that in his statement before the Treasury, Negreira said that "he never revealed to his son the confidential agreement he had with Barça". The Tax Agency opened an inspection in 2019 that concluded that the invoices issued by the companies of Negreira Nilsad and D asnil corresponded to "services rendered" and pointed out that "evidence was missing" to prove that the activity was had developed
Meanwhile, Barça continues to give no explanation about the payments to Enríquez Negreira. Before the scandal broke but knowing that SER Catalunya would uncover the case, the club hired the services of lawyer Andreu van den Eynde to carry out an internal investigation to determine whether the club's control mechanisms failed. The lawyer is questioning people who may have knowledge of the facts and will eventually issue a report with his findings. At the same time, Barça has entrusted its criminal defense in the Negreira case to the renowned lawyer Cristóbal Martell, who defends in multiple high-profile cases, such as that of Dani Alves or that of the Pujol family. He already represented Barça in the Neymar 1 case, which was closed with the club's conviction, and worked for a time for Messi, who was charged with a tax offence.