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Negreira chooses not to testify in Barca ref scandal court appearance

Former refereeing chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira leaves the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/barcelona/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Barcelona;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Barcelona</a> court with his partner after deciding not to declare (Pau Barrena)

Former refereeing chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira chose not to testify during a court appearance Tuesday regarding the alleged Barcelona bribery scandal.

Court sources told AFP the 78-year-old exercised his right not to testify during a brief appearance in the Barcelona investigation court, after being summoned by investigating judge Joaquin Aguirre.

Negreira's court appearance was originally scheduled for February but twice delayed at the petition of his defence, saying he was unfit to testify because of a dementia claim.

Last year Barcelona and several of the Spanish champions' former directors, including reelected current president Joan Laporta, were charged with bribery for alleged payments to Negreira.

Negreira held the post of Spanish refereeing vice-president for 25 years.

He 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 the Catalan club denies.

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