MADRID, July 28 (Xinhua) -- A judge in the town of Gava, close to Barcelona, has turned down the request of the prosecutor to drop charges of tax evasion against FC Barcelona and Argentine footballer Leo Messi, and has given orders to proceed with the case.
The decision means Messi will almost certainly have to defend himself in court alongside his father, Jorge Messi, on three charges of tax evasion.
The judge rejected the prosecutor’s request to drop the case against Messi, maintaining it being only against Jorge Messi, because he considers there exist “sufficient indication” to consider that the footballer “could have known and given his consent to the creation and maintenance of a fictitious society which had the avoidance of fulfilling tax obligations generated from the money earned from his image rights as its only aim.”
The Prosecutor for Economic Crimes in Barcelona first charges Messi and his father in June 2013.
They were accused of not declaring 4,164,674.96 euros (about 5,580,664 U.S. dollars) from the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, from money related to Messi’s image rights and of diverting this money to fiscal paradises.
March 2014 saw Messi make a payment of around 10 million euros to the Treasury related to his earnings in 2010 and 2011. (1 euro = 1.34 U.S. dollars)