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Brazilian judge drops Neymar tax evasion charges



Rio de Janeiro, July 27:  A Brazilian federal court judge has dropped criminal charges against Barcelona footballer Neymar, ending a prolonged tax evasion case.

Judge Cecilia Mello said charges could only be recognised by the court following a separate ruling by Brazil's tax dispute appeal body CARF, reports Xinhua news agency.

"It is with great happiness that we received the news of the shelving of the Public Ministry's case of tax evasion," Neymar's father, Neymar da Silva Santos, said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The process is officially closed and that proves the legality of all our acts," he added.

According to Mello, prosecutors failed to show "a just cause" in claims that Neymar underpaid income tax between 2011 and 2014.

Local media reported that Neymar could still be forced to pay a hefty fine to the Brazilian tax office, which has accused the 25-year-old of evading around 20 million US dollars in taxes.

A court halved a tax office penalty of 200 million reais (around $60 million dollars) following an appeal by Neymar's lawyers last year. 

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