Trial of Messi and father of alleged tax fraud starts

The trial involving the alleged tax evasion by Barcelona and Argentine star Lionel Messi has started . Messi is accused of evading payment of 4.1 million euros ($ 4.57 million) in taxes
BARCELONA, May 16, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Argentine forward Lionel Messi attends FC Barcelona's celebration parade for winning the Spanish La Liga championship, in Barcelona, Spain, May 15, 2016. (Xinhua/Lino De Vallier/IANS)

The trial of FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father started over alleged tax fraud in a hearing session but his mother, who was supposed to attend the hearing session, did not show up.

Celia Cuccittini was summoned to testify ┬áthe case of her husband and son, whom the Spanish prosecutors want to be sent to prison for 22 months over charges of evading the payment of 4.1 million euros ($4.57 million) in taxes on profits made from the player’s image rights between 2007 and 2009, reports Efe.

The general prosecution asked for the imprisonment of Jorge for 18 months on charges of evading the payment of the taxes, while it wants to acquit Messi, who it claims did not know about the tax fraud offence.

Initially the prosecution filed lawsuit against Messi and his father, but then requested the case to be closed after Jorge paid the defrauded amount, as well as interest.

Messi, currently at the Argentina national team camp, and his father are scheduled to stand trial next Thursday just a few days before Argentina participates in Copa America in the United States.