Barcelona, Oct 6 (IANS) The Spanish prosecution on Tuesday asked for the exoneration of FC Barcelona Argentine star Lionel Messi from tax fraud charges. It also urged that the player’s father, Jorge Horacio, be imprisoned for 18 months for defrauding 4.1 million euros ($4.6 million), based on the fact that Messi was not aware of the fiscal offences, reports Efe.
The lawsuit was originally filed by the prosecution against Messi and his father, who is also his agent; however, it asked that the case be archived after both defendants paid a sum of 5 million euros ($5.6 million) in reconciliation, including interest.
Jorge confirmed that he is fully responsible for managing his son’s financial affairs, but the judge decided to maintain Messi’s status as a defendant, which was then endorsed by the court of Barcelona.
However, the prosecution asked for Messi’s acquittal as he blindly followed the instructions of his father, who is accused of establishing a company in a country considered a tax haven, to evade taxes payable on the player’s image rights between 2007 and 2009.