#OYINBOTORCHLIGHT – MESSI DUE TO GO ON TRIAL IN SPAIN FOR TAX FRAUD
Argentina star Lionel Messi, one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, goes on trial in Barcelona on Tuesday (May 31) for allegedly defrauding Spain of more than four million euros in unpaid taxes.
After winning a league and Cup double with Barcelona, the five-time World Player of the Year and his father will confront in court the accusations that have dogged him since June 2013.
The trial will run until Jun 2 – the day when Messi is due to testify along with his father. The court appearance comes just days before he joins his Argentina teammates for the Copa America in the United States. Argentina take on defending champions Chile in their first game of the tournament in California on Jun 6.
Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are accused of using a chain of fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros (US$4.7 million) of Messi’s income earned through the sale of his image rights from 2007-09.