Lionel Messi’s management company has hit back on behalf of its client after it emerged the Barcelona star is likely to face trial for tax fraud.
It was previously believed the 28-year-old Argentina star, under investigation along with his father over alleged fraud dating back to a period of time between 2007 and 2009, would be spared a trial on the basis that he did not have full control of his affairs.
However, it was widely reported by the Spanish media on Thursday that the four-time Ballon d’Or winner would be required to appear in court after the state attorney opted to overrule the advice of prosecutors.
“The Prosecutor’s Office did not accuse Lionel Messi of any financial fraud on September 25,” Leo Messi Management wrote in a letter titled ‘The State Attorney is trying to contradict prosecutors in Messi case’.
“In its statement, the Prosecutor’s Office widely discussed the reasons for not accusing Lionel Messi.
“The State Attorney has contradicted the Prosecutor’s request and judgement. The State Attorney’s statement was presented on July 8, while the Prosecutor’s was issued later, on September 25.
“The State Attorney represents the interests of the Revenue Agency, while the Prosecutor’s Office is the appropriate constitutional organisation formed with effective autonomy in the Judiciary.
“The sentence sought by the State Attorney does not imply it will be complied with effectively.
“In the coming weeks Lionel Messi’s defence will have the chance to present its arguments in the trial, and the evidence it believes relevant, which prove that the Prosecutor’s position in not accusing Lionel Messi is correct.”
The star forward, sidelined due to a knee injury suffered playing for Barcelona at home to Las Palmas in La Liga last month, posted a picture and message on Facebook informing his fans he is continuing his rehabilitation.