Trial of former Barca boss Rosell kicks off

Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell at a news conference in Barcelona, Spain. (Reuters pic)

MADRID: Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell went on trial Monday in Madrid for money laundering, Spain’s National Court said.

Rosell, his wife and four others are accused of “large-scale money laundering” of at least 19.9 million euros (US$23 million) since 2006 relating to television rights and sponsorship in Brazil.

Prosecutors at the Madrid-based National Court have called for the ex-Barca boss to be jailed for 11 years and fined 59 million euros.

Rosell and his wife are accused of hiding money illegally obtained by Ricardo Teixeira, the former head of the Brazilian Football Confederation.

Rosell, who has been in pre-trial custody since May 2017, had previously lived and worked in Brazil, where he forged numerous business links.

The case centres on a deal signed by Teixeira in 2006 with a company based in the Cayman Islands for the television rights to 24 Brazil friendly matches.

Altogether, Rosell and his wife allegedly received close to 15 million euros in their accounts as part of the deal.

They pocketed 6.6 million euros with 8.4 million destined for Teixeira, prosecutors say.