offpitch | 2015-03-28
Judge archives espionage case against Laporta, Oliver
Joan Oliver and Xavier Martorell are cleared of all charges
On Friday, the judge in charge of the case against former club president Joan Laporta and members of his administration decided to archive the case. The decision came about after the discovery phase had not uncovered evidence of any wrong doing, and that the money had been paid by the club for real services provided.
This case had started when FC Barcelona presented a claim that during Laporta's presidency, funds from the club were used to pay for investigations of employees of the club, socís, friends, journalists, players and their families.
The discovery part of the trial had led to former vice-president Ferran Soriano being cleared of all charges and also led to former general manager of the club, Joan Oliver, and former chief of security, Xavier Martorell, being charged.
On Monday club socí Oriol Giralt presented the court with documents that claimed to prove that Laporta was the one that asked for the spying to be done. These documents were not obtained legally, and were sold on the black market by employees of Método 3 (the firm that did the private investigative work). The police had stated that these documents were not found in the computers they had searched and could not be taken into consideration by the court. Furthermore, using such documents obtained on the black market can constitute a crime. On Wednesday, Francisco Marco, former director of Método 3, denounced the use of these documents to the court investigating the case.
Today, Giralt sent a letter to the court saying that the documents he had presented were left at his house on a USB drive, and that he did not obtain them himself.
Both FC Barcelona and Giralt can appeal the judge's decision.
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