New Delhi: Barcelona super-star Lionel Messi, along with his father Jorge, will stand trial for tax fraud before the national court of Barcelona on May 31.
Messi, who was recently crowned Ballon d'Or winner for an unprecedented fifth time, and his father have been charged with tax fraud for allegedly failing to declare 4.16 million euros ($4.69 million) in taxes related to his image rights between 2007 and 2009.
The trial will run until June 3, the Catalan Superior Court of Justice said in a statement. And, according to reports in Spanish media, the state prosecutors are asking for both men to be sentenced to prison terms of 22 months and a half.
However, a report in Efe claimed that the Catalonian prosecution asked for the exoneration of Messi from the charges, while asking that the player's father serve 18 months in prison, based on the fact that the player was not aware of the offences.
Jorge also confirmed that he is fully responsible for managing his son's financial affairs, but the judge decided to uphold Messi's status as a defendant.
Messi will be required to attend court because the state's general prosecution maintains the three charges against the Argentine player.