Madrid - Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell will be
freed from jail on Wendesday, where he has been since his arrest in May 2017,
as his trial for alleged money laundering continues, Spain's National Court
Rosell, his wife and four others are accused of
"large-scale money laundering" of close to €20 million since 2006
relating to television rights and sponsorship in Brazil.
The 54-year-old had been in pre-trial custody for more than
20 months and in the first hearing on Monday, his lawyers argued he should be
released pending the rest of the proceedings.
"The National Court agrees to the provisional release
of Sandro Rosell and Joan Besoli," his alleged front man, the court said
in a statement.
"The two accused must return to prison at the end of
today's hearing where they will be released," it added.
Prosecutors at the Madrid-based court have called for the
ex-Barca boss to be jailed for 11 years and to be fined €59 million.
His release comes after Rosell, who was president of FC
Barcelona from 2010-2014, was questioned in court on Tuesday.
He denied the prosecutors' accusations, which he said were
full of "mistakes and lies."
The case centres on a deal signed by Ricardo Teixeira, the
former head of the Brazilian Football Confederation, in 2006 with a company
based in the Cayman Islands for the television rights to 24 Brazil friendly
Rosell - who had previously lived and worked in Brazil,
where he forged business links -- and his wife allegedly received close to €15
million in illegal commissions in their accounts as part of the deal.
They pocketed €6.6 million with €8.4 million destined for
Teixeira, prosecutors say.
Rosell is also suspected of having received some five
million euros ($5 million) illicitly as part of Nike's sponsorship deal with
the Brazilian national team.
In his declaration, Rosell said "there were no
commissions, legal or illegal."
"There was only payment to my company."