Vitória Guimarães chairman Antonio Pimenta Machado has been released on bail pending a trial for embezzlement.
Judge Fatima Mata-Mouros allowed Pimenta Machado to leave the court in Lisbon on Monday upon payment of a €1m bail bond after a seven-hour hearing in which the club chairman was read charges of embezzlement and forging documents.
A court official said that after Machado has been ordered to pay bail within 15 days, to deposit his passport and not to leave Europe's passport-free Schengen area without the court's permission.
Pimenta Machado was taken in for questioning by police on Sunday in connection with investigations into the transfer of defender Fernando Meira to SL Benfica in August 2000. Meira moved on to German club VfB Stuttgart in December 2001.
'He will go free'
The chairman left the Boa Hora court in Lisbon by a side entrance and avoided waiting journalists. "He will go free," said Pimenta Machado's lawyer Josi António Barreiros, who also defended former Benfica chairman João Vale e Azevedo now serving a prison sentence for embezzlement.
Vitória Guimarães are third in the Portuguese premier league behind FC Porto and Benfica.