Spanish court sentences Lionel Messi to 21 months in jail for tax fraud
Barcelona's talismanic footballer Lionel Messi and his father were on Wednesday sentenced to 21 months in jail in three tax fraud worth 2 million euros
Lionel Messi. Pic/AFP
However, these prison sentences are likely to be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years.
Superstar Messi, considered the world's best player, was tried alongside his father Jorge after defrauding Spain's tax authority of 4.1m euros (£3.19m) from 2007-09.
Messi given 21 months in jail for tax fraud, but won't actually go to prison. Tax frauds the world over will be looking to move to Spain.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 6, 2016
Earlier, the four-day trial ended on June 3 in Barcelona with both prosecutors contending that Messi’s father, Jorge Horacio Messi, was the main person responsible for defrauding Spain's tax authority of 4.1 million euros from 2007-09. The legal representative for the tax office called for a prison sentence of 22 months each for both Messi and his father.
Lionel Messi's tax fraud trial had concluded with a public prosecutor calling for the player’s acquittal and the government prosecutor renewing his demand for a conviction.