Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

Sports

Messi under formal investigation for tax evasion

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-20

Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, who plays for FC Barcelona, has been placed under formal investigation for tax evasion by a judge in Spain. He is due to appear in court on September 17.

Lionel Messi and his father were ordered by a Spanish court on Thursday to appear for questioning in September as part of an investigation into tax fraud allegations.

A court in the Mediterranean coastal town of Gava near Barcelona accepted a state prosecutor’s complaint alleging that Messi and father Jorge defrauded the Spanish tax office of 4 million euros ($5.3 million).

The Barcelona and Argentina star and his father will appear before judge Anju Deb Rani in Gava on Sept. 17. That will form part of an investigation to determine whether there exist grounds to charge them with tax evasion.

If charged and found guilty, Messi and his father could face a fine amounting to 150 percent of the concealed earnings and 2-6 years in prison, although an out-of-court deal is another possible outcome.

Court officials told The Associated Press that both Messi and his father will have to appear in person for the session that will be closed to the public.

The timing of the court appearance could coincide with Barcelona’s opening game in the Champions League, set to be played either on Sept. 17 or 18.

The court accepted the complaint lodged by prosecutor Raquel Amada on June 12 accusing the pair of not paying the correct taxes from revenue earned from image rights on Messi’s income tax returns from the years 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Messi has denied wrongdoing. He has received public backing from Barcelona club president Sandro Rosell and former president Joan Laporta, who was in charge during the years of the alleged fraud.

The 25-year-old Messi is widely considered the best player of his generation and one of the best in history after winning an unprecedented four straight FIFA world player of the year awards.
Messi, who is rated by Forbes as the world’s 10th highest-paid athlete, reportedly earned $41.3 million to June this year; with $20.3 coming from his club salary and $21 million in endorsements.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-06-20

  • FOOTBALL

    Spain investigates football star Messi for tax evasion

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Lionel Messi wins fourth straight Ballon d'Or

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Messi strikes twice to set new goalscoring record

    Read more

COMMENT(S)