Police arrest ex-Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu

Police arrest ex-Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and other senior club officials were detained by Police on Monday. 

Barcelona offices were raided on Monday with arrests done as part of a police investigation into the "Barcagate" controversy. Presidential candidate Joan Laporta confirmed Bartomeu was among those who were detained but the Catan police did not disclose the people who were taken into custody. 

As reported by the Spanish media outlets, the club's current chief executive Oscar Grau, head of legal services Roman Gomez Ponti, and Bartomeu's advisor Jaume Masferrer. Court officials said a judge ordered Monday's search and seize operation but that the arrests had been made at the discretion of the police officers involved.

"The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case. FC Barcelona (expresses) its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation," Spanish giants Barcelona released a statement after the arrests. 

The operation is tied to last year's 'Barcagate' when it was accused of covering up payments made to I3 Ventures. Last year, officials were accused of hiring the company to carry out a smear campaign against current and ex-players who were critical of the club, to enhance the image of then-President Bartomeu and other senior club officials on social media.

The Catalans, who are currently more than €1.1 billion ($1.3 billion) in debt had denied the accusations that it hired a company to make such comments. 

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