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Negreira called to testify in Barca refereeing bribery case

A Spanish judge Thursday called on former refereeing chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira to testify in the ongoing Barcelona corruption case in February.

Negreira’s defence had said previously he was unfit to testify because of a dementia claim.

Judge Joaquin Aguirre “called on (Negreira) to declare, as a defendant” at 1000 GMT on February 21, the Catalonia High Court of Justice said in a statement.

Spanish media reported the decision was based on medical reports which confirmed the 78-year-old was fit to appear in court despite some memory impairment.

Last year Barcelona and several of the Spanish champions’ former directors were charged with bribery after alleged payments to the former Spanish refereeing vice-president, who held the post for 25 years.

Negreira allegedly earned over seven million euros ($7.6 million) from Barcelona between 2001 and 2018, through companies supposedly producing refereeing reports, according to the club.

Spanish prosecutors are attempting to find out if Barcelona’s payments were in an attempt to influence refereeing, which Barcelona deny.

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