23 January 2018
   
Cholera: Angry minister blasts city councils
Mzembi challenges arrest; quits politics
Mudzuri: Amnesty for MDC-T cop murder 3
Mnangagwa: Grace mentally unstable
ZESA gave Chivayo $7m, not $5m: Parly
Botswana cops release Mugabe cars
Grace's luxury cars damaged in accident
Chamisa dares military chief on elections
MORE NEWS
Govt reduces excise duty on fuel
Filthy 5-Star hotels: Economy blamed
MORE BUSINESS
‘Am I African’ explores Zim's race conflict
Gafa’s Epworth concert draws thousands
MORE SHOWBIZ
Billiat might still leave: Sundowns coach
Katsande: Chiefs show championship mentality
MORE SPORTS
Mnangagwa’s ‘New’ Zim merits support
Zhuwao: kleptocracy and EDiots in Davos
MORE OPINION
 
Mnangagwa off to Davos empty handed
Economy: the need for a paradigm shift
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Lionel Messi misses first day of tax fraud trial  
31/05/2016 00:00:00
by Reuters
 
Five-times World Player of the Year ... Lionel Messi
 
RELATED STORIES

MADRID: The trial of Lionel Messi on charges of tax evasion opened in Barcelona on Tuesday, but injury prevented soccer's five-times World Player of the Year from attending. The Barcelona star will be in court on Thursday to testify.

Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are accused by the Spanish tax office of defrauding the government of 4.2 million euros ($4.7 million) between 2007 and 2009. They could face jail terms of up to 22 months if found guilty.

Both have denied the allegations and missed Tuesday's hearing, which lasted over an hour. The 28-year-old player and his father are not obliged to attend the court every day, but they will have to testify on Thursday.

"The intention of Mr. Lionel was to attend the plenary hearing, but he has suffered an injury," Messi's lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Vera, said in court. He presented a medical report.

The Barcelona forward hurt his back during Argentina's international friendly against Honduras last Friday. Asked by the judge whether Messi would attend Thursday's hearing, the lawyer said he would.

The case centres on the player's image rights and a web of shell companies allegedly used to evade taxes on income from those rights. Tuesday's hearing showed that Spain's tax office made 20 inspections of Messi during its two-year investigation.

According to the prosecutors' office, revenue was hidden using shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Messi and his father paid five million euros to the tax authorities as a "corrective" measure after being formally investigated in June 2013.

In addition to Messi, Spain's tax office has also begun investigating the finances of high-profile Barcelona players such as Neymar Jr, Javier Mascherano and Adriano.

A resident in Barcelona since 2000, Messi became a Spanish citizen in 2005. He is 10th on Forbes Magazine's list of the world's highest-earning athletes over the past decade, with an income of $350 million.



Advertisement

Messi has scored 314 goals in 348 appearances for Barca. His five World Footballer of the Year titles are a record.

He has also won eight La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey trophies and four Champions League crowns with Barca.

 

 


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark

 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker