Bartomeu is accused of organizing a campaign to improve Barcelona’s reputation in the community by paying journalists and other social media outlets to defend the club’s executive team and even to criticize players and fans.
The local police department, the Mossos d’Esquadra, has been looking into Bartomeu’s actions and is said to have gathered enough evidence to continue their investigation until this summer.
Cadena SER reports that the Mossos have discovered proof of payments made by Bartomeu to two journalists, Marçal Lorente and Albert Lesán, who both fervently supported the former president while he was at Camp Nou.
According to the accusations, Bartomeu wired money to these two journalists via third-party businesses with fictitious descriptions to prevent the transfers from being detected by any systems.
‘a training course in business communication’ and ‘preparation of journalistic content for clients” were included in the purported payment specifications.
A local judge has acknowledged that there are still additional documents to be analyzed and statements from the accused that need to be heard. As a result, Bartomeu and a number of former Barcelona officials will be subjected to additional questioning regarding this and a number of other issues.
The Mossos discovered evidence a month ago that connected Bartomeu to the leak of Lionel Messi’s contract with the club, a claim the former president has vehemently denied. This most recent development happened after that discovery.