Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Messi not looking too taxed

  • Print

GAVA, Spain -- Cheered by fans and with a smile on his face, Lionel Messi didn't look like a man facing a multimillion-euro fine and possible jail time when he arrived to face a judge's questions in a tax fraud court case on Friday.

The Barcelona star gave answers for around half an hour after his father Jorge Horacio Messi was also questioned. After they were whisked away in separate cars, Messi's lawyer briefly spoke outside the courthouse No. 3 in Gava, an easygoing coastal town just south of Barcelona near Messi's residence.

"The Messi family has wanted that we act with transparency, clarity and with a sense of co-operation, and that is how things went today as well," said Cristobal Martell, Messi's lawyer.

"It was evident that there was little intent of committing fraud and a great willingness to normalize the situation with the tax office and to not get involved in a fierce battle with the state in an attempt to interpret the current tax regulations."

A complaint lodged by a Spanish state prosecutor in June said Messi and his father tried to conceal earnings from the player's image rights. The complaint alleged the Argentina international owed 4 million euros ($5.3 million) in back taxes from 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Messi's father made a payment of more than 5 million euros ($6.6 million) on Aug. 14 to cover alleged back taxes and interest. That payment led the court to decide that neither Messi nor his father needed to post bail.

Friday's hearing was to see if there are clear indications of illegality. If so, the judge could recommend the case be prosecuted, barring an out-of-court settlement.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2013 C8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.