The head of the court number 13 in Barcelona, Alejandra Gil, has released the former president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu , as well as the presidential advisor, Jaume Masferrer, with charges. Bartomeu and Masferrer have availed themselves of their right not to testify before the judge, which has lifted the secrecy of the proceedings. Both are being investigated for crimes of unfair administration and corruption between individuals for the use of FC Barcelona funds to allegedly defame opponents of the Bartomeu board of directors. The magistrate considers that the Barça club is an injured party in the so-called Barçagate case due to the surcharge paid to the company I3 Ventures.
More information The Mossos detain Josep Maria Bartomeu, former president of Barça Bartomeu: from the trial by Neymar to the burofax of Messi Redes, camouflaged payments and arrests. What is 'Barçagate'? Although it became known about Barçagate a year ago, when in February 2020 the SER chain discovered that FC Barcelona had hired the services of an external company to monitor social networks and defame players and opponents of the president, it was not until this Monday when the case exploded in the face of the Barça club and, especially, the previous board of directors. After months of investigation, the head of the Court of Instruction number 13 of Barcelona, Alejandra Gil, ordered a series of searches that have led to the statement on Tuesday. The judge investigates the alleged damage caused to the patrimony of the football club by Bartomeu and the former Barça as a result of Barçagate and since the Mossos considered that there were indications of corruption in the contract with I3 Ventures, which was allegedly paid six times above the market value .
Former president Josep Maria Bartomeu was arrested this Monday while, by order of the investigating judge, the regional police carried out five simultaneous searches in Barcelona, one of them in the Camp Nou offices , also in the homes of Bartomeu and another of the accused. In addition to the former president, the Mossos also took three other people close to the president to the police station, such as his right hand Jaume Masferrer, presidential adviser; Óscar Grau, CEO of the Barça club; and Román Gómez Pontí, head of legal services. The last two were released at night.
The operation comes in a key week for the future of the Barça entity, which next Sunday holds elections for the club's presidency. Since the departure of Bartomeu, last October, a manager has held the reins of the sports entity.