Friday, 23 June 2017

Leo Messi's 21-Month Prison Sentence To Be Replaced With €400 Per Day Fine

Prosecutors in Spain say they are happy for Lionel Messi's 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud to be replaced with a fine, a spokeswoman confirmed on Friday.
They said they are not opposed to the Barcelona star being fined €400 per day -- a total fine of around €255,500 -- for the duration of the sentence, an option also put forward by the player's defence team.

Messi's father, whose sentence was reduced to 15 months upon appeal, could also see the original punishment exchanged for a fine of around €180,000.

In line with what has been proposed by the prosecutors, a judge will now make the final decision.

Speaking after learning of the possible changes to Messi's sentence, Barcelona vice president Carles Vilarrubi questioned the timing of the decision in relation to the accusations of tax fraud that have been made against Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

He insinuated that Messi's tax case was unfairly dragged out for years but then quickly resolved this week so that the cases of La Liga's two star players would not be under probe at the same time.
"I find it difficult to imagine that this would have happened had there not been a similar problem with another player," he told RAC1, alluding to the Portugal international.

"All of the developments that are taking place right now and that will take place in the coming days are going in a very clear direction: so that Cristiano Ronaldo does not sit in the dock.

"They don't want there to be a photo of Ronaldo in the dock, but Messi did have to go through that."

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